WHITE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Police are investigating after a road rage incident led to an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student being shot and injured early Thursday morning.
According to police, the incident began in Indiana Borough around 2 a.m.
A silver vehicle, possibly a Lincoln MKZ, approached the victim’s vehicle at a stop light at the intersection of Seventh Street and Philadelphia Avenue.
“One of the passengers exited the victim’s vehicle in an attempt to secure a rear hatch that had become ajar,” said Trooper John Matchik, of Pennsylvania State Police. “This vehicle proceeded to honk its horn. And more or less, a disagreement occurred, a verbal exchange occurred.”
Investigators say escalated from there.
“We believe this silver vehicle continued to engage in aggressive type of behaviors such as following too closely, honking the horn excessively,” Trooper Matchik said.
The suspect followed the victim to the Maple Street Apartments in the 500-block of Maple Street in White Township. At that time, the victim exited their vehicle and approached the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspect got out of their vehicle, approached the victim, identified as 20-year-old Hayden Warmke, and struck him in the head. The blow caused Warmke to fall to the ground. The suspect then continued to assault the victim before pulling out a handgun and shooting him in the leg.
“The suspect proceeded to strike the victim in the face causing the victim to stumble backwards and fall to the ground,” Trooper Matchik said. “After that physical assault, the suspect proceeded to brandish a handheld firearm and proceeded to shoot the victim.”
Then, the suspect then took off.
Another male passenger in the victim’s vehicle witnessed the incident and ran from the scene. They have not been identified at this time.
According to his roommate, Warmke is doing okay.
“He seems to be doing okay; we’re just hoping for the best for him,” said Nathan Kovach, Warmke’s roommate. “He’s a nice kid; he’s a genuinely good person.”
The suspect is being described as a white male in his 20s and was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt.
Anyone with information is asked to call Pennsylvania State Police.