Sara Mutschlechner’s road rage incident may finally get the justice her family has been seeking. Mutschlechner, a Texas college student, was shot dead from another vehicle that was driven by Eric Jamal Johnson, according to NVO News.
Mutschlechner, 20, was driving about 2 a.m. Friday after attending a party with her sorority sisters from Zeta Tau Alpha when a black SUV pulled up beside them. The SUV was carrying five or six men — and words were exchanged between the people in the SUV and passengers in Sara’s car, Denton Police Community Resource Officer Shane Kizer said at a Tuesday press conference.
“The amicable conversation quickly went downhill,” Kizer said. Someone in the SUV, a Honda Pilot, made comments that were “very derogatory … in a sexual nature” at the women, Kizer added.
As the streetlight changed, shots were fired, and Sara Mutschlechner was caught in the road rage after being struck in the head. Her car crashed into a different vehicle before slamming into a telephone pole.
Sara Mutschlechner was on life support for most of the day Friday before she died, authorities said. One of her friends also suffered minor injuries.
But now authorities arrested an active U.S. Marine Tuesday in the shooting death during the apparent road rage incident. Eric Jamal Johnson, 25, was taken into custody in Yuma, Ariz., after a warrant was served by the U.S. Marshals Service,.
Johnson — who was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, officials confirmed — was wanted in the New Year’s Eve shooting of Sara Mutschlechner, a junior at the University of North Texas.
Officer Kizer said Johnson “was seen with a handgun in the vehicle right before the shots were fired.” The Marine Corps said Johnson is assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1.
Captain Justin Smith, a spokesman for the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command in California, said Johnson joined the Marines in August 2013 as an administrative specialist. He has never been deployed.
Witnesses and social media helped authorities track down Johnson, who goes by the street name “Santana Sage,” Kizer said.
Paying tribute to Mutschlechner on Saturday, her sorority posted on Facebook: “Our thoughts are with the sisters, family and friends of Gamma Phi Chapter (University of North Texas) member Sara Mutschlechner, who passed away in a tragic accident this weekend.” The post quoted chapter president Jordan Roberts, who said: “Each and every one of our lives at the Gamma Phi Chapter of ZTA has been touched by the spunky, selfless attitude of our beloved sister, Sara. She is by far one of the most spirited, honest and fun-loving people I ever had the privilege to know. She will truly be missed.”
The investigation into Sara Mutschlechner’s road rage death is ongoing. The Texas college student was a radio, television and film major. Her parents said their daughter had dreamed of being a film director or producer.