Federal Way police have released a sketch of a man accused of shooting another motorist in a road rage incident that started after the victim cut off the shooter's vehicle.
Joshua Deraitus, 31, of Auburn, was shot in the head just after noon Jan. 2 as he was driving near Military Road South and 304th Street.
He lost his left eye and, though he was released from the hospital Jan. 8, he has returned almost daily due to setbacks, said his father, Pete Deraitus. He now is being cared for at home by his parents.
Witnesses and Deraitus worked with police Wednesday to create the sketch.
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“We’re all hoping for an arrest so that this won’t happen to any-one else,” Pete Deraitus said Thursday.
The gunman fled after shooting Joshua Deraitus, police said.
“The bullet passed through his nose and left eye causing extensive injury to the nose, facial, and orbital bone(s),” police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said. “He has already had a number of surgeries and will have several more to repair the bones and reconstruct the nose/orbital area, and receive a prosthetic eye.”
Police said the gunman was 20 to 30 years old and driving a black luxury-type sedan last seen heading south on Military Road.
The shooting was prompted by an earlier traffic-related incident near Military Road South and 304th Street.
Deraitus said he might have cut off the shooter’s vehicle while it was leaving the parking lot on the west side of Military Road just south of South 288th Street. He told officers the shooter tailgated him before opening fire.
A witness told police the shooter’s vehicle approached Deraitus’ car on the passenger side and a shot was fired through the car, striking him in the head.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare when you get that phone call,” Pete Deraitus said. “We’re doing better, we’re coping with it. He’s alive. It could have been a lot worse.”
Anyone with information can contact Federal Way Police detectives at 253-835-6835.