Police: Road rage led to York shooting death
Douglas Allen Need's femoral artery was severed when he was shot Saturday.
By MICHELE CANTY
Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 07/01/2008 10
48 AM EDT
Douglas Allen Need was shot and killed in a melee stemming from "road rage," police said.
On Monday, authorities said the shooting may have been justifiable, but they are still investigating.
His death is listed as a homicide and is being investigated by York City Police and the York County District Attorney's Office.
Witnesses told police Need was driving wildly in the 400 block of East Philadelphia Street in York Saturday evening. During the ride, he cut off a car containing two women and a baby, police said.
Need and the women stopped their cars and argued. The fight turned physical, with Need hitting one of the women, police said.
A family member from a car behind was punched when he tried to help her fight Need, who police said was yelling and threatening the women's lives.
Need and his passenger were arguing and fighting with the people from the other car, police said, when another man in another vehicle stopped to intervene.
The man was armed and was "aggressively" approached by Need, York City Police Lt. Ron Camacho said. The man warned Need to step back and fired at least one warning shot, Camacho said.
Need kept approaching and was shot in the leg, Camacho said.
The 42-year-old died at York Hospital soon after his arrival, police said.
The shot severed Need's femoral artery, causing his death, the York County Coroner's Office reported Monday.
The femoral artery, a main artery which runs from the abdomen to the knee, carries blood to the lower body.
As a main blood source for the extremities, a cut in the femoral artery can be fatal by causing a person to lose a large amount of blood in a manner of minutes, according to WebMD.com.
Police believe Need had been drinking but are waiting for the results of toxicology reports to confirm it, Camacho said.
York County First Assistant District Attorney Bill Graff said the district attorney's office is still waiting on several reports before making a ruling in the death.
Graff said the office's initial assessment still stands that the shooting may be justifiable.
The shooter was taken into custody in the parking lot where Need was killed without incident. He has cooperated with authorities, police and district attorney's office, officials said.
A handgun used in the homicide was also recovered, police said.
The shooter will be named after the district attorney's office completes its investigation and makes a ruling on the homicide, police said.
The body has two femoral arteries that branch off from about mid-abdomen into each thigh. They are among the body's biggest vessels, and in the groin area and upper thigh, are about as big around as an index finger.
Stopping blood loss from a bullet hole in that region can be extremely challenging if the wound is close to the groin. It would be hard to put a tourniquet around it, said Dr. Gannon Dudlar, an emergency medicine specialist at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago.
An injury of this type "essentially means you can lose all the blood in your whole body within five minutes," said Dr. Mary Pat McKay, director of George Washington University's Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Source:The Associated Press