Prosecutor: No criminal charges in Sparta road rage shooting

Dudley Family reaction

SPARTA, MICH. - There will be no charges against a man involved in a road rage shooting in Sparta.

During a press conference on Friday morning, Prosecutor Chris Becker announced that 43-year-old Robert Chipman, Jr., of Newaygo, will not face criminal charges after a road rage shooting on M-37 near Sparta Avenue that left one man dead and another injured. Becker stated Chipman acted in self-defense. 

According to a press release from the prosecuting attorney, the two brothers Donald and Benjamin Dudley were riding with a woman named Aja Cruz. Cruz said they were on their way to take Donald to his that evening. While on M-37, she said that a truck pulled up behind them and the head lights were "blinding her."

Benjamin motioned for the driver of the truck, Chipman, to pass and Cruz slowed down -- in the release, it states that Chipman honked his horn, flashed his lights and eventually passed them. According to Cruz, Chipman braked in front of her, slowing down to the point where she tried to pass him. He then sped up so that she couldn't -- which made the two brothers very angry, the news release details. 

Cruz and the Dudley brothers eventually caught up to Chipman, who said he stopped to call 911 and get the license plate of the car. Cruz says the brothers didn't even wait until she put her car in park before they got out and approached Chipman's truck.

There was a physical altercation at this point -- Chipman fearing that a third person was approaching with a foreign object, pulled out his .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic hand gun. Chipman is a valid CPL holder, the prosecuting attorney's office states. 

Chipman fired his gun three times -- Donald was shot in the face and Benjamin was shot through the left arm into his hip and the left side of his chest. Donald later died from his injuries.

Chris Becker concluded the release on the shooting incident determining that no charges would be taken up against Chipman, stating he acted in self-defense. Becker notes that this is the second "road rage" incident the Kent County Prosecutor's Office has dealt with in the last year. 

Drivers who feel they are victims of road rage should find a public place to pull over; go inside of a gas station, store or anywhere were other people may help and call the police. 

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

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