Roger Atlas talks pain meds, warning shots and getting shot by Christian Gunter

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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.

I interviewed Gunter and his lawyer, Sarasota attorney Jeff Young on Monday. You can watch the interview here.

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.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

34 Comments

  1. This guy is an idiot in every sense. From rolling down his window and saying something to pulling up next to him in the gas station and then getting out and yelling at his. ALL WRONG things to do. And this guy taught for the NRA???? He deserved to be shot!

      • Why Don’t You Hot Shot. Any Day And Time You Want A Competition Shoot Not With Your Mouth. But A Pistol Shoot At Any Range On Every Caliber Lets See Who Can Shoot. Every Caliber From 9mm To .50 Caliber. That Should Verify All You’ll Ever Need To Know!!

    • I Deserve To Be Shot Do I???? Another Senseless Idiot On The Gun Writers Site. A Joke Is What You Are. Lee You Have Some Real Top Citizens On Your Site.

    • You’re Right About Joe. But I Said Florida Being The Only State That Has A Warning Shot. Lee Distorted What I Said. As He Has Abused My Internet Sites By His Crafty Hacking And Inviting Others To Hack With Him. A Real Piece Of Work. Just Another Punk.

    • Lee Is Just Being A Cry Baby Because I Told The People At SNN I Wouldn’t Have A Bias Punk That Attracts A Group Of Morons On This Site. I Save That Kids Life That Day I Said To Lee. As Like You And The Rest Of The Jokers I So Easily Could Have Taken Him Out In Self Defense And I Chose To Grab The Gun And Turn It Away. But Being Gunter Has Had Issues In The Past. No Doubt The Next Time He Plays This Game On The Next Person He Will Her Shot.

  2. Well, no surprised here. I am afraid we have just begun hearing about Mr. Atlas and there will be future incidents just as bad as his conflict with Mr. Gunter , if not worse. I hope the Local Law Enforcement Agencies have and eye on this guy.

    I

    • Will There Be Big Mouth. I Wasn’t The Shooter The Church Going Kid In Less Then One Year Will Be The One After He Gets Out Of Jail That In Less Then One Year Of Carrying A Weapon Scared Of A Verbal Confrontation Already Shooting PEOPLE. Poor Lee Another Moron With Select Hearing In The State Of Connecticut They Don’t Have The Joke Laws That Let Kids With Guns Walk. Nor Will A Federal Judge.

  3. Lee , No Doubt Your A Loser Of A Worm. Your Boy The Church Goer Is Gonna Go To Jail. You L
    Keep Up Your Hacking Campain And You Will To. I Feel Sad For You Being A Punk. That’s Why I TOLD ANN I WOULDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH GARBAGE LIKE YOU. AND NO DOUBT YOU ARE GARBAGE. YOU THINK HARASSING PEOPLE IS OK AND A CONTINUOUS PRACTICE OF YOURS. BUT WASHED UP PUNKS WHO HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO THEN BOTHER PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BE AT THE HERALD TRIBUNE. GROW UP, You Are Making The Stand Up People Of SARASOTA Dislike You More Then They Already Do. Your A Sick Man Who Has Abused The Resources Of The Herarld Tribune. And You Will Have To Deal With That Next You Disgusting Piece Of Work And Joke Of A Inhuman Being.

    • Common Sense Tyranny on

      People that post online comments with erratic abusive language including poor grammar, spelling mistakes and a bIzArrE MeThOD oF ConvENTIONinG theIR cOMMents reveal much about themselves.
      Making such ad hominem attacks against Lee Williams when the State Attorney has ruled you acted inappropriately suggests you have had a break with reality and don’t possess the capacity to recognize a threat as in the the case of your altercation recently. I’m sure it has not been easy reconciling your actions with your current status and health issues, but you sir are the very reason people like Gunter and others feel compelled to carry deadly force. Pride goeth before destruction. Proverbs 16:18

  4. The thing about the internet is people can be who they are not.

    I’m not Roger Atlas, bur I can “claim” to be to try to help protect myself…. you know posting in somebody elses name etc.

  5. Only thing the kids did wrong was poor shot placement, had he had good shooting skills, he would never seen the inside of a jail cell. Pull up to me and begin an assault let that and that Atlas douche woulve required a meat van. You sir, got what u hadcomimg when you attack some1, yo7 better be prepared for them to use whatever means necessary to fight back and stop the assault. Warning shot? At a gas station? An you eat any more stupid? I think not.

  6. Dear Mr. Atlas:

    Please stop.

    In my business, I get online reviews. When I get a bad one, it’s been my experience to just let the person speak. Virtually every time, potential customers see through the complainer and take my side. This is exactly what’s happening here. The more you talk, the more in the wrong we know you were.

  7. Another “pain management” pill junky. Notice how he starts out with all his sickness bs. Why did they even let this fool have an interview. He started it with the kid and got his fat, balding, messed up on pills ass shot.

  8. Everyone forgets the point too that the douche bag on the motorcycle started the confrontation on the road by yelling at the guy for bad driving. Justified in shooting Atlas? Perhaps. Justified in calling the guy out on the road? No. He instigated the escalation. You can’t start a fight and then claim stand your ground. The motorcycle rider is just a young punk who thinks he is the expert on the road and got away with starting a fight and ending it.

    • Don You Are A Harvard All-star Compared To A Group Of The Biggest Losers. I Spared That Little Sick Head His Worthless Life That Day. And Don You Are Correct In That GUNTER. Who Had A Previous Altercation He Got Away With Needing Anger Management Theropy . He Instigated It Which Was Never A Question To The Sheriffs Department Or He Wouldn’t Have Gotten Arrested!!! But A Higher Court Will See This Punk Is Guilty As Sin Of Attemped Murder As The Helmet Wearing Gun Toter Hiding Behind The Motorcycle Had No Reason What So Ever To Have Pulled Out A Gun. The Only Threat Was On Me When He Pulled Out That Gun. NEVER!!!! Was His Life In Any Threat!!!! And My Story Being Released Before Hearing His Side Was Wrong. I Would Have Loved To Of Heard What Lies He And Young Would Have Dreamed Up. They Lied Anyway. And Lee You Should Put An End To Your HARASSING PEOPLE And Hacking Onto Peoples Web Sites As You Did Mine. Or Is The Drug Lyrica Now An Epidemic You And The Morons Who Claim Pain Meds That Only A Pig Hacker Who Talks Out His Ads Like Lee Williams And His Kangaroo Court Comes Up With. Thanks To DON FOR TELLING IT THE WAY IT WENT DOWN.

  9. David Tedder on

    Oh, I’m so happy that someone turned me on to this incident, even though I’m a few months late in joining the “party.”
    I’m not one to normally rejoice (may be too strong of a word) in someone getting shot but after the experiences I’ve had with Roger “The Asshat” Atlas, I just have to say I’m not surprised someone took a shot at his ass. I’m only shocked that it took SO LONG.
    Roger is a 60 year old (+/- a year or two) wannabe bully, wannabe musician, wannabe NRA instructor with a SERIOUS anger management issue. He “leaps” to the defense of girls who send him nude photos and make up stories about guys who call them on their bullshit. He bullies females on the net, he has quite the imagination when it comes to his so called 35 year long professional music career, much embellished yet backed up by no Pollstar Pro, Pollstar General, Allmusic or HFA facts. You’ve heard of his band The Sliders, right? No? Yeah, nor has anyone else.
    Mr. Williams, I’m going to guess that your attempt to validate his NRA certification got about as far as finding information on the seven music schools he claims to own. What I DO know is that I have screen shots of him “yelling” IN CAPITAL LETTERS at the MySpace Tom Anderson fan page on Facebook, demanding that Tom allow Roger to cancel his MySpace account and calling him a hacker and the scum of the earth amongst other things all the while. When people tried to actually help Roger, telling him that noone maintained that page, that Tom no longer owned MySpace and giving him information on how he could close his account he then took to calling THEM names, as well. He would send me threatening messages on Facebook then block me so I couldn’t respond to him. He’s been banned from certain musicians forums for being an asshole in general to people. Maybe he goes off of his meds and freaks out?? Who knows but if you’ve actually seen some of his postings (well, the ones on here are proof enough ..) he seems to be a raging psychopath with no filter or common sense about him.
    And, I watched the gas station video. It speaks for itself. Roger clearly attacked that Gunter kid and him being arrested is absolutely flabbergasting. I haven’t seen all of the news yet on this but I’m hoping he was released from jail.
    (Waiting for the fury to be unleashed …)

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