18-year-old accused of deadly road rage shooting in Gwinnett

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

An 18-year-old was jailed on a murder charge after police said he fatally shot another driver during a Gwinnett County road rage incident Sunday.

Luis Cruz is accused of opening fire at the entrance of a subdivision off Dickens Road in Lilburn, killing Omar Cantillo Avila, according to authorities.

The incident began after Avila stopped for a yellow light at Harbins Road and didn’t turn left onto Dickens, to which Cruz apparently took exception, Lilburn police Capt. Scott Bennett told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As Cruz drove around Avila, an argument ensued, Bennett confirmed.

“Cruz then stopped his car on Dickens in front of the Durham Ridge subdivision and waited for Avila, who also stopped,” Bennett added. “The altercation then escalated into gunfire from both parties.”

Bennett called it a “very nondescript sort of incident.” He said there was no evidence they knew each other.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Avila’s family told Channel 2 Action News that the 45-year-old was driving a black SUV and had two friends with him at the time of the shooting. One of his passengers was taken to a hospital and said to be stable, Bennett noted. As of Monday, there was no update on the victim.

Rapid gunfire could be heard around noon in home security camera footage obtained by the news station.

“People just need to take a deep breath and calm down and not resort to firearms,” Bennett told Channel 2 from the scene, where investigators gathered evidence for more than seven hours Sunday.

At some point during that time, Cruz’s uncle called police and said his nephew wanted to turn himself in, according to the news station. He was booked into the Gwinnett jail, where he is being held without bond on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.

Taryn Nix lives near where the shooting happened and said it left her shaken.

“My mom passed it (the scene) just a few seconds before, so yeah, it could have been my mom,” she told the news station. “It’s a mess. Like, nobody should have to bury nobody, and that’s something we see every day now.”