I just want to know why you shot me and why he did that. What made him, why did he shoot me? What did we do that made you want to shoot us? I just want to know why because we didn't do anything wrong. I can't really forgive you because you frightened me. In time, I will forgive you but I don't think I can right now. — Aurianna Bryan, the 8-year-old girl shot in the foot during a road-rage incident last December on I-84
PORTLAND, Ore. — The 8-year-old victim of a December road-rage incident on Interstate 84 addressed the man who shot her during a court appearance Tuesday.
The shooter, Joshua Constantine, was convicted of third-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon and sentenced to five years in prison and three years of post-prison supervision. As part of a plea deal, three charges, first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and reckless driving, were dropped.
The incident began on Dec. 22, 2016 just before 3 p.m., when the mother of the victim, Renae Lee, was driving on I-84 with her friend and their three kids, ages 4, 7 and 8, in the car. That’s when Constantine passed her car in his van and nearly caused a crash, police said.
Lee drove past and Constantine fired a shot at her car from his van, hitting her daughter’s foot. No one else in the car was hurt.
BACKGROUND: Girl injured in road-rage shooting on I-84
During Tuesday's sentencing, Aurianna Bryan, the 8-year-old girl who was shot in the foot during the incident, read a statement. The girl appeared nervous and said she was scared before addressing Constantine and the court.
"I just want to know why you shot me and why he did that," Bryan said. "What made him? Why did he shoot me? What did we do that made you want to shoot us? I just want to know why because we didn't do anything wrong.
"I can't really forgive you because you frightened me. In time, I will forgive you but I don't think I can right now," she said.
Constantine was required to apologize as part of the plea deal and he did so in court Tuesday.
"First and foremost, I want to apologize to Aurianna," Constantine said. "She had nothing to do with this situation. At the onset of the situation that occurred, I want to let the court know I had no idea there were any children in the car, and that I'm very sorry for what happened."
Lee said she wasn't angry or upset at Constantine.
"Our lives were obviously changed, as were others," Lee said. "By no means am I angry or mad. Everybody makes a choice, and we make choices consistently through life. Sometimes those choices have repercussions that follow and we deal with those repercussions and we learn from them and we move on with life. My hope is that is what Mr. Constantine can do with this.
"I want you to know that no anger or animosity is held. Everybody walked away alive and healthy and OK, and that's what matters. I truly hope that you do well with this," Lee said.
Jared Cowley is a digital producer at KGW.