ELK RIVER, Minn. (FOX 9) - A man is in custody after police say he pulled out a gun and fired shots at a vehicle during an incident of road rage in Elk River, Minnesota.
"This got really out of hand really fast and it was completely unnecessary," said Detective Sergeant Joseph Gacke with the Elk River Police Department.
Elk River police say a car with four teenagers inside was heading south on 169 near County Road 33 Thursday afternoon when a man in a tan pickup truck with no truck bed pulled up alongside them.
Investigators say Matthew Lau leaned out his window, pulled out a gun, and shot out the back tire of the car with the teens, forcing it off the road while he sped off.
"I think the occupants of the vehicle were very fortunate not to be injured," said Det. Sgt. Gacke. "It could have turned out much differently."
One of the teenagers called 911 and gave police a description of the pickup. Officers spotted it on Highway 10 a few minutes later headed towards Big Lake.
Police caught up with Lau a few miles down the road where they pulled him over and took him into custody.
"The occupants in the vehicle who were shot at told us the driver of the vehicle tried to get around them while they were in the left lane and there wasn't room," explained Det. Sgt. Gacke. " It appeared the driver became angry at them, opened the driver window and a short time after that produced a pistol and shot at their tire."
Elk River police say cases of road rage have become all too common but they rarely turn this violent and they are grateful they avoided a tragedy.
"It would be nice if people would just slow down and realize they are going to get to their destination eventually and getting around one vehicle in front of them isn't going to get them there any faster," concluded Det. Sgt. Gacke.
Lau was charged with four counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and drive by shooting. All of them are felonies and he is currently in the Sherburne County Jail.