HOWELL, MI — Derek Flemming, 43-years-old, was driving with his wife, Amy, on the way to pick up his two children from their first day of school when a tailgater pulled up behind him. Being Michigan, this sort of thing wasn’t uncommon; but 69-year-old Martin Zale was an uncommon sort of lunatic. Or, perhaps, his kind is all too common, now.
Witnesses from other vehicles say Zale was “driving recklessly,” particularly when he flew around Flemming and cut him off, nearly hitting him. As is the case with so much aggressive driving, the maneuver proved fruitless, as the two wound up stopped at the next stop light.
Flemming got out of his car and walked up to Zale’s, standing several feet away from it.
“What is your problem?”
They were to be his last words.
Zale rolled down his window and, without saying a word, pulled out a pistol and fired into Flemming’s face from the driver seat. Flemming was rocked backward into the street, with a large hole where the center of his face used to be.
Flemming’s wife ran out of the car to help him. She begged her husband to stay alive, but Derek was well beyond hope.
“He was only trying to protect me,” she later said.
Zale calmly awaited the arrival of police, who took him into custody on charges of open murder and firing a weapon through a vehicle — a charge typically used to prosecute drive-by shooters. As of right now, there are absolutely no ground for a Stand Your Ground defense, though it’s likely that Zale (a legal concealed-carry permit holder) thought there would be.
Meanwhile, Zale’s License to Kill has left Flemming’s family devastated. His wife must provide an answer when his two young daughters when ask where Daddy is…and why he isn’t coming home. She may not have an answer as to why.
None of us do.
Derek’s daughter, Lily, turned 6 years old the day before.
Watch the prosecutor discuss the incident and charges in the video below:
h/t: Raw Story