Roger Atlas wanted to tell his story, but only on his terms.
Atlas, 59, was shot in the abdomen Oct. 5 by Christian Gunter, after the pair were involved in a road rage incident on the Tamiami Trail.
Gunter, 22, was arrested after the shooting and faced aggravated battery with a firearm charges — a felony punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison under Florida’s 10-20-Life Law.
But earlier this month, the State Attorneys Office dropped all charges against Gunter, largely due to the fact that Atlas’ stories conflicted with two surveillance videos of the shooting — a discrepancy Atlas said was caused because he was “not feeling well.”
I had tried to interview Atlas after the shooting — to no avail. He wouldn’t talk to me, even though he posted several different versions of the shooting on various social media platforms, including this website.
Feeling like he’d been left out, on Tuesday Atlas made arrangements to be interviewed by a reporter from SNN TV.
I planned to join them, but Atlas said he wouldn’t allow me to be part of the interview because I was a “liberal piece of garbage.”
Atlas later became so verbally hostile and abusive toward the young SNN reporter that she refused to interview him.
Instead, Atlas was interviewed Wednesday by SNN’s news director Craig Burdick.
Burdick spoke with Atlas for nearly a half-hour at a picnic table outside the Herald-Tribune.
Atlas begins the interview by admitting he’s taking prescription pain medication for Fibromyalgia and back pain.
He claims he was an NRA-certified firearms instructor in Connecticut years ago — a claim I have not yet verified.
Atlas also said Gunter should have fired a warning shot before using deadly force. Personally, I am not aware of any firearms instructor who has ever advocated the use of warning shots.
The rest of the interview speaks for itself.
After watching all 26 minutes, it’s not difficult to understand why prosecutors dropped the charges against Gunter.
Many thanks to my colleagues at SNN for sharing the raw video footage with us.