A father of 13 has been identified as the driver shot and killed by a backseat passenger on the I-285 Outer Loop in DeKalb County early Thursday.
Mario Washington, 41, was driving east on I-285 near Flat Shoals Road about 2:45 a.m., when friend and co-worker Cedric Martin shot him, according to DeKalb police. Washington was able to pull over to a shoulder without causing any secondary incidents, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The men worked together at a DeKalb County Waffle House, the news station reported.
“It’s a sad story…The customers are going to miss him,” manager Gerald Hooks told Channel 2.
Police said there were four people, including Washington’s wife, inside the car at the time. They had just picked her up from her job a little before 3 a.m.
Martin was sitting behind Washington, playing with a gun, when he fired a shot through the seat, police said. Washington was hit in the upper body, Channel 2 reported.
“Based on his interview, as well as the interviews of the other people in the car, and as well as evidence in the vehicle, they were able to determine that this was accidental,”DeKalb police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told the news station. “This was not an intentional shooting.”
Martin was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Washington was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, police said. According to Channel 2, his wife, who was in the front passenger seat, was also taken to a hospital after she had a panic attack.
Two right lanes were closed near the I-20 interchange for several hours early Thursday and reopened about 5:15 a.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
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