Gunfire was the last thing Brent Eiland expected Wednesday afternoon when he went with his family to his 5-year-old grandson's birthday party.
The 51-year-old owner of Phenix City's Safe-T Fence said he set off with his wife, son, son-in-law and nephew on J.R. Allen Parkway around 7 p.m. Near the Bradley Park Drive exit, he noticed an aggressive driver in a 1999 or 2000 Honda Accord speeding erratically toward his vehicle.
The suspect slowed when he reached Eiland, who was driving around 70 mph.
"I don't know what exactly he was pissed off about," Eiland said. "He tried to get around me for a couple of miles, but couldn't because of traffic. Then he drove up right beside me and flipped me the bird."
Never miss a local story.
Irritated, Eiland returned the gesture — and saw the suspect reach for his gun.
"He fired off at least three rounds," Eiland said. "That was just the ones we heard."
One bullet hit the right rear door of Eiland's 2014 Hyundai, he said.
When the suspect sped off toward the Bradley Park Drive exit, Eiland followed, making sure to keep distant. Several bystander drivers swerved to avoid the suspect during the chase, Eiland said.
"I didn't know if he was still aiming at me, but I know you're not going to get a good shot shooting behind you," Eiland said. "I was just trying to get his tag number, which I did partially."
Eiland said he and his family members were unnerved, but uninjured, from the unexpected shooting.
"I guess he was just belligerent," Eiland said of the suspect. "My son is 21 years old and he was shaking all over."
According to a report, victims described the suspect as a 25- to 35-year-old bearded black man wearing a black hat, red shirt and sunglasses. He has not been apprehended.
Anyone with more information should contact Investigative Services at 706-653-3400.