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SANDY — A Riverton man was charged Friday with murder following a road rage incident on I-15 during which police say he pulled in front of the victim and slammed on his brakes before shooting the man after they both exited the freeway.
Rodrigo Andres Monroy, 32, is charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in 3rd District Court in the shooting death of Christopher Mortensen, 42. The shooting occurred Oct. 26 on the street outside a Sandy gas station.
The father of four was shot once through the heart "after the victim had disengaged and was backing away" from Monroy, according to charging documents.
The confrontation began while the two men were driving on I-15. Monroy pulled in front of Mortensen's vehicle and "abruptly slammed on his brakes," causing Mortensen, who was hauling a large trailer with his truck, to hit his brakes to avoid an accident, the charges state. Monroy then repeatedly got in front of Mortensen's vehicle each time Mortensen tried to change lanes, police say.
"Following an exchange of verbal hostilities and hand gestures, both Mortensen and Monroy exited at the 10600 South exit" and Mortensen parked in front of a gas station, according to the charges.
Police say Monroy parked behind Mortensen's trailer, then Mortensen exited his truck and walked back to Monroy's truck
"Mortensen hit his hand against ... Monroy's truck and Monroy pulled a handgun on Mortensen. Mortensen attempted to disarm Monroy, but was unsuccessful. As Monroy pulled the gun away, Mortensen backed up with his hands visible and said, 'No.' Monroy pulled the trigger of his handgun at Mortensen and shot Mortensen one time in the chest," the charging documents state.
Monroy admitted to police that he had brake-checked Mortensen, argued with him, followed him off the freeway to confront him and knew that Mortensen was not armed when he shot him, the charges allege.
"Monroy admitted that Mortensen had tried to disarm Monroy and that Monroy had pulled the gun away. At first, Monroy told police that Mortensen had grabbed the barrel of the handgun and turned it, and the gun just fired while Mortensen still had his hand on the handgun. Monroy later changed his statement during the interview and admitted that he did not shoot Mortensen until after he had regained control of the handgun," the charges say.
A passenger in Mortensen's truck told police Mortensen was shot by Monroy while the victim was backing away and standing "in a defensive posture" near Monroy's truck.
Prosecutors have requested that Monroy be held in jail without bail, arguing that he "chose to follow the victim off the interstate, take his handgun out of its holster and point it at the victim in response to the victim's use of nondeadly force to confront the defendant about his driving and actions that were likely to cause a wreck. (Monroy) then chose to shoot the victim after the victim had disengaged and was backing away from the vehicle," the charging documents state.