A Fort Worth man angry with another motorist on Northeast Loop 820 fired at least three shots at him last month after the two exchanged words and made hand gestures at each other, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram.
The victim, James Lambert who suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, drove himself to a hospital after the Sept. 28 shooting.
Using witness accounts and toll road information, police arrested Adam Alfred Cardinal, 26, of Fort Worth, on Oct. 15 at his home without incident. Police also seized a .32-caliber handgun and ammunition that investigators believe was used in the shooting.
The search warrant obtained by the Star-Telegram late Wednesday gave this account:
Lambert, of Fort Worth, told police he had gone to a Colleyville restaurant with his family and left alone. He was driving his truck at the speed limit on Northeast Loop 820 when he approached a slower-moving vehicle.
Before he changed lanes to go around, he looked in his rear view mirror and saw another vehicle a long distance behind him. He moved over and when he looked up again the car, a Chevrolet Impala, approached him quickly and got right behind him.
Another witness reported that the Impala was “flying” down the highway when it approached the truck.
Lambert told investigators he tapped his brakes twice and then applied his brakes as the Impala continued right behind him.
The Impala went around Lambert’s truck, and the two exchanged words and hand gestures. Initially, Lambert believed there was a passenger with the driver, but it turned out to be a yellow Labrador retriever.
Lambert told investigators he saw the driver pull up a gun, saw a spark and heard a bang. He was hit in the leg and the driver fired two more times before getting on the toll road.
Lambert called his girlfriend and drove himself to a nearby hospital. Police used the time Lambert called his girlfriend, the time he called 911 and a description of the suspect’s vehicle to track down the license plate of the suspect’s car.
Police traced the vehicle to a Fort Worth address in the 5200 block of Mirage Drive. Investigators began surveillance Oct. 12, and later saw a man they believed was the suspect.
Cardinal was taken into custody Oct. 15, and remained in the Tarrant County jail Thursday in lieu of $250,000 bail. He was charged last week with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Cardinal declined to give a jailhouse interview.
Also according to the affidavit, Cardinal was detained by Fort Worth police Oct. 6 for emergency mental observation. Fort Worth police responded to a welfare call that day when Cardinal’s girlfriend reported he was mentally unstable. Cardinal was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and later released.
Tarrant County criminal court records indicate Cardinal had three previous arrests, two for drug possession and one for driving while intoxicated. He was no-billed on one drug possession charge in 2009, and sentenced to 35 days in jail for DWI in 2010. He served two years of probation for drug possession in 2011, according to county records.