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Biker shot in road rage

Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies shut down Palms of Pasedena Hospital for more than an hour after the shooting Friday afternoon.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies shut down Palms of Pasedena Hospital for more than an hour after the shooting Friday afternoon.

SOUTH PASADENA — The 83-year-old man was on his way to visit his wife at the hospital Friday afternoon when he cut off a motorcyclist near the intersection of Gulfport Boulevard and Pasadena Avenue.

The motorcyclist, who was on his way home, instead followed the man into the rear parking lot of Palms of Pasadena Hospital, about a half mile away.

That's when, authorities say, road rage got the best of the biker, identified as 64-year-old George S. Hall of St. Pete Beach.

As Nathan Snyder was about to exit his green Hyundai, Hall pummeled the old man with his fists, Pinellas sheriff's officials said.

In response, Snyder grabbed a handgun he kept in his car and fired. He later told deputies that he was in fear for his life when he pulled the trigger.

Snyder hit his attacker once in the arm. The injury was not life threatening.

Hall was treated for his wound at Palms of Pasadena, then was taken into custody on a charge of burglary with battery. Sheriff's officials said Hall faces this particular charge because he entered the vehicle.

Public records indicate Hall does not have a previous criminal record in Florida.

Synder was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where he remained late Friday night in fair condition, hospital officials said.

Pinellas sheriff's officials said the case remained under investigation late Friday night, but that Snyder likely will not face charges, as he acted in self defense. Snyder has a concealed weapons permit that expires next year, public records show. He also does not have a criminal record in Florida.

Neither Snyder nor Hall could be reached for comment Friday night.

After the shooting, officials briefly locked down the hospital at 1501 Pasadena Ave. Deputies set up roadblocks and restricted access to the area for more than an hour.

Tony Broccone and his family, who live only a few houses away from the hospital, said they heard a loud noise shortly before 3 p.m.

They didn't pay much attention, thinking it probably had something to do with the holiday weekend.

"I heard bang, bang," Broccone said. "I thought it was fireworks."

Broccone still didn't realize anything was wrong until sheriff's vehicles swarmed the hospital minutes later.

"Unbelievable," he said as he watched deputies work at the scene.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at (727) 893-8643 or kstanley@sptimes.com.

Biker shot in road rage 07/03/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 6, 2009 12:26pm]
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