PORTLAND, Ore. (STL.News) — On Friday, March 15, 2019, a federal jury found Dat Quoc Do, 28, of Madras, Oregon, guilty of two counts of unlawful use of a weapon for discharging a firearm during a road rage altercation on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in September 2017.
“There is simply no excuse for this sort of violence in our community. Mr. Do’s actions are very serious and could have critically injured or killed an innocent motorist,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The jury clearly saw this case for what it is: an egregious and preventable overreaction to an otherwise ordinary event on the highway.”
“These acts are shocking. Handguns are not video games and this is not a movie,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “By shooting towards another car, Mr. Do put lives in danger and traumatized the occupants including a child inside the vehicle.”
According to court documents and information shared during trial, on September 14, 2017, Do was riding in the front passenger seat of a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Thao Bich Tran. The two were driving at night eastbound on Highway 26 on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation when they came upon another eastbound vehicle being driven by an adult member of the tribe. Also in the second vehicle were the driver’s adult daughter and 12-year-old niece.
Tran was tailgating the vehicle when the other driver motioned for her to pass. At some point in the encounter, the other driver’s adult daughter threw a water bottle at, but did not hit Tran and Do’s vehicle. In response, Do fired several shots out the front passenger window of their vehicle, but did not hit the other driver’s vehicle. After the initial shooting, Tran raised the passenger window and continued to the follow the other vehicle. When Tran had a clear lane to pass, she moved to change lanes.
As Tran began to overtake the other vehicle, Do extended his hand holding a handgun out of their vehicle’s front passenger window. Believing that Do was pointing the gun in her direction, the other driver rapidly applied her brakes. Do fired several additional rounds as Tran drove away.
The other driver called Warm Springs Tribal Police to report the incident while continuing to follow Tran and Do’s vehicle. A patrol officer later stopped their vehicle and ordered Tran and Do out at gunpoint. Both were taken into custody. Officers recovered a Springfield Armory XD .45 caliber handgun in the front-passenger door pocket of the vehicle and a .45 caliber magazine partially loaded with five rounds in the center console.
Do faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He will be sentenced on Monday, June 10, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Warm Springs Tribal Police Department and prosecuted by Paul T. Maloney and Lewis S. Burkhart, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.