Man killed in road-rage incident near Gilbert mall

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GILBERT, Ariz. – One man was shot and killed when an apparent road-rage incident ended in gunfire near SanTan Village Mall Saturday evening. Police are calling the shooting self-defense.

The victim has been identified as Mitchell Fickes, 56.

It happened just after 5 p.m. on Williams Field Road just west of the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in Gilbert.

“It was obvious they were chasing each other,” said Kim Thorp. She was just a few feet away and saw everything. “They were on each other’s bumpers the whole time, until they got to the red light.”

The two drivers, both armed, got into a heated exchange.

Fickes got out of his pickup truck and, gun in hand, walked up to the pickup truck ahead of him. The driver of that truck, a 23-year-old man, pulled a gun of his own and began firing.

“It just happened in seconds, maybe five or six seconds,” Thorp said. “All I heard were shots going. I saw the casings just flying up in the air.”

According to Thorp, the man who fired kept repeating, “He wouldn’t leave me alone.”

“He just looked straight at my face,” she said. “I’ll never get that face out of my head. It was a horrific situation that just happened so fast.”

Fickes was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the suspect stayed at the scene and was detained for questioning. Believing the shooting to be self-defense, officers released the man, whose name has not been released.

Per standard procedure, the case will be forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.