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Minor Traffic Accident Leads To Shooting Death In Central Florida

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A minor traffic accident that took place in central Florida led to the shooting death of one man and the arrest of another man on a second-degree murder charge.

According to police reports, 63-year-old Robert M. Gelles of Holly Hill was driving a van when he rear-ended a truck which was slowing down for a traffic light on Sunday afternoon. Gelles remained in his van when the truck driver got out to talk to him. It was at this time when Gelles shot the truck driver.

The victim, identified as 44-year-old Joseph E. Bailey III of New Smyrna Beach was later pronounced dead at a hospital. His autopsy was scheduled for Monday.

Surveillance video from a nearby business recorded nothing wrong with Bailey’s behavior according to Police Chief Gerald Monahan. According to him, it is normal for drivers to speak to each other after a car crash.

Monahan told The Daytona Beach News-Journal Sunday, “There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but there’s plenty wrong with deadly force. There’s no reason for what happened here today, no justifiable reason.”

Gelles’ van was slightly damaged after the crash. He was held without bail.

Volusia County jail records don’t show whether he has an attorney.

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