WALNUT GROVE — Officials said they considered a shooting on a Walton County highway to be a case of self-defense.

It apparently stemmed from a road rage incident on Georgia 138 late Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff Joe Chapman said the case involved four people in a pickup truck, and another in a Nissan passenger car. The driver of the car apparently shot at passengers of the truck.

One person was injured, Chapman said. The man was shot in the abdomen.

Chapman said witnesses indicated the possibility of passengers of the truck getting out and approaching the driver of the car.

“Right now, unless something changes, we’re not going to charge the guy in the shooting,” Chapman said Saturday.

Chapman said Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett happened to be driving through the area and happened upon the incident and was able to apprehend the person who fired the shots.

Levett told the Rockdale Citizen newspaper he had been attending a funeral in Athens for a former deputy in his office and just happened upon the incident.

Levett said he was about 10 cars behind the altercation and saw people getting out of their cars.

“I never thought that I would be telling Michael (Meyers, Levett’s public information officer) to activate the lights and drive around the cars to see a male shot and everyone yelling at each other, which in turn caused me to quickly get out of the vehicle and get the situation under control before any backup could arrive,” Levett wrote in a Facebook post.

“I quickly took possession of the shooter’s gun and secured it along with him until Walton County (deputies) arrived. I know that God was with me and everyone in my vehicle as well as the other bystanders and drivers.”

Levett complimented the job of the Walton County deputies on the scene, saying they were “very professional under the circumstances, in which some of the parties involved were yelling and very belligerent.”

The highway was closed, causing what Chapman called a traffic “nightmare” on a busy travel weekend compounded by traffic from the University of Georgia football game against Georgia Tech earlier in the day in Athens.

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