Former Brevard County deputy faces murder charges in fatal road rage shooting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A former Brevard County deputy facing second-degree murder charges was in court all day Friday for a "stand your ground" hearing.

Investigators said in a fit of road rage in June 2016, he nearly hit a car, and after arguing with the people inside it, shot a passenger.

Nearly every seat in the courtroom was taken Friday as testimony was heard from law enforcement officers as well as a key witness in the case.


“I was fearing for my life,” said witness Jose Montanez.

Montanez was in the car with 22-year-old Clarence Howard the day detectives said Howard was shot and killed during the road rage incident.

Detectives said former Deputy Yousef Hafza is the one who shot him.

Hafza is facing a second-degree murder charge for the shooting of Howard, but Hafza is claiming self-defense using Florida’s “stand your ground” law

Hafza told Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents that Howard came running toward him aggressively and turned and reached for his waistband which made Hafza fear for his life.

Special Agent Ryan Bliss, with FDLE, interviewed Hafza shortly after the incident and on the stand Friday recounted what Hafza told him.

Records show Hafza was off duty at the time of the shooting.

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