Road rage incident leaves 1 dead, 1 hospitalized and a suspect arrested, Gwinnett police say

Road rage took a deadly turn in Gwinnett County Sunday afternoon.

Omar Cantillo Avila, 45, died. One of his passengers was hospitalized. Police arrested Luis Cruz, 18, charging him with felony murder and aggravated assault.

The shooting happened at the entrance of the Durham Ridge subdivision near Harbins and Dickens Roads around 12:00 pm.

Surveillance video captured the sound of rapid gunfire.

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“My mom passed it just a few seconds before. So, yeah, it could have been my mom,” said Taryn Nix.

Nix stood in a crowd that watched police gather evidence for more than seven hours. In front, Avila’s family was in tears, not ready to talk publicly.

“I’m sending prayers up because that’s so messed up,” said Nix.

Avila’s brother told Channel Two’s Courtney Francisco Avila was a father, originally from Colombia. He was driving his black SUV with two friends with him Sunday afternoon when police say he crossed paths with a driver named Luis Cruz. Detectives said something sparked rage that escalated to gunfire.


“People need to take a deep breath and calm down and not resort to firearms to settle what amounts to a very non-descript incident,” said Capt. Scott Bennett.

Capt. Bennett said evidence shows both men fired guns. Avila did not make it. One of his friends was hospitalized. He said Cruz ran after tossing a long gun next to Avila’s SUV.

Then, as detectives gathered evidence, Capt. Bennett said Cruz’s uncle called.

“He said he had his nephew with him, his nephew was involved, and he wanted to turn himself in,” said Capt. Bennett.

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Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office staff and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents were on scene helping Lilburn Police Department process evidence.

The road was back open to traffic by 7:30 pm.


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