Those who knew Scott Bartolotti described him as easy-going and against confronting other drivers.
So when The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the Florida man was killed in a shooting brought on by road rage Tuesday night, his friends were “baffled,” according to The Tampa Bay Times.
“Don’t yell at people,” Brandy Stevens recalled her friend saying, according to the newspaper. “Don’t honk your horn.”
“He’s not the type to get hyped up or amped up in any way,” co-worker Dustin Kamermayer told WTSP.
He described Bartolotti as “very laid back,” WTSP reported.
Police say Bartolotti and another driver — whom police have not identified — got into a “confrontation” in Land O’ Lakes and then kept driving, according to WFTS. That unidentified driver called police and said he shot Bartolotti in “self defense,” police say. An investigation continues.
“Caller is advising they got into a vehicle accident, got rear ended, advising the driver of the other vehicle tried to run caller over,” a dispatcher said, according to WFTS. “Caller then advising he had to dispatch his firearm and it’s unknown if the suspect was hit by the firearm.”
The slain man’s girlfriend said he was driving to Walmart just after 9 p.m. when the shooting took place, WFLA reported.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Luby Fields told WFLA that “at this moment we don’t have any indication that these two knew each other.”
“We are still working through this investigation and trying to find out what initiated this road rage incident to result in the gunfire,” Fields said, according to WFLA. “That part is still under investigation, but we can confirm it was road rage and the scene is secured.”
No matter what happened, Stevens said, Bartolotti, her friend since elementary school, should still be alive, The Tampa Bay Times reported.
“Why would he have the right to shoot him?” she said, according to the newspaper. “It’s not right. I don’t care what you say to somebody.”
Police say the two drivers’ road rage lasted for 2 miles down State Road 54 — and then the unidentified driver shot into Bartolotti’s car and killed him, according to Fox13.
It hasn’t been announced if the man who police say shot Bartolotti will face any charges, Fox13 reported. According to WFLA, “right now it’s unclear if anyone is in custody or not.” Police say “the shooter remained at the scene and is cooperating,” WFTS reported.
David Rhodes, who worked with Bartolotti at Ashe Glass and Mirror Inc., said news of his death shocked everyone at the Tampa-based company, according to WTSP.
“The whole company, you could hear a dime drop,” he told the TV station. “Really heartbreaking.”
It was hard news for Stevens’ family, too, she told The Tampa Bay Times.
“Scott was like a son to my father,” she told the newspaper. “My daughter is devastated. I’m devastated.”