Man fatally shot in chest in possible road rage incident in Port Orange

Robert M. Gelles, 63, arrested in shooting death of Joseph E. Bailey III

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A 63-year-old man was arrested early Monday in Volusia County on allegations of shooting and killing a driver who approached his vehicle after a minor crash.

Robert M. Gelles, 63, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Joseph E. Bailey III (pictured, below), 44, of New Smyrna Beach, who was shot Sunday after a crash near the intersection of Dunlawton and Ridgewood avenues in Port Orange.

Volusia County sheriff's deputies said Gelles, who was driving a van, rear-ended Bailey's Chevrolet Avalanche, so Bailey got out of his vehicle and went to talk to Gelles.

Deputies said Gelles, however, pulled out a gun and shot Bailey in the chest.

"It happened very quickly and the victim went to the ground, and that was pretty much the incident," Port Orange Police Chief Gerald Monahan said.

Bailey was taken to a hospital, where he died, according to officials.

Surveillance video captured the shooting, but it's not being released at this time, Port Orange police said.

"He didn't deserve that. There's no justification for that," said Joseph Bailey.

Joseph Bailey fought back tears as he talked about his 44-year-old son, who was also named Joseph Bailey.

"Not saying he was a saint but he lived out his belief and his faith and what he did for other people," said Bailey.

On Sunday afternoon, Bailey was driving to the pet store when witnesses told Port Orange Police that there was a road rage incident between Bailey and 63-year-old Gelles. Once the light turned red on Dunlawton and Ridgewood, police said Gelles rear-ended Bailey. Investigators said Bailey got out of his truck and approached Gelles.

"Knowing my son, he probably shared his mind with him and what he thought about his driving ability and the guy shot him," said Bailey.

However, police said Gelles blamed the incident on Bailey, that he was the reckless driver and admitted to shooting him only after Bailey claimed he had "something for him."

Gelles appeared in court Monday afternoon for second degree murder. The judge set his bond at $100,000.

Meanwhile, the Bailey family is hoping justice will be served.

"He should have to serve the same life sentence I'm going to have to serve, my wife is going to serve, my son's going to serve and that is heartache and deep regret for what's happened," said Bailey.

Gelles was driving a white van with the name Budget Auto Unlock across it. He told police he was leaving a customer's residence when the incident happened. News 6 called the company but it went straight to a full voicemail.

Joseph E. Bailey III.
Joseph E. Bailey III.

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