Man faces charges in road rage shooting of Auburn man

Auburn’s Josh Deraitus, who lost his left eye in a road rage shooting, poses with his son, Drew. - Courtesy photo
Auburn’s Josh Deraitus, who lost his left eye in a road rage shooting, poses with his son, Drew.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Justin R. McCleod pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm (first degree) in a King Count courtroom on Oct. 3 for his alleged involvement in a road rage shooting incident in Federal Way.

McCleod, a 32-year-old Shoreline resident, was charged with shooting Auburn-resident Josh Deraitus at the intersection of Military Road South and South 304th Street on Jan. 2, reportedly in retaliation for Deraitus cutting him off.

McCleod is in the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on $500,000 bail. McLeod, who has been in custody since February on other charges, will go before the judge again on Monday for a case-setting hearing.

Deraitus said he was at a Federal Way stop sign when he was shot. The bullet struck Deraitus in the face and ultimately led to the loss of his left eye.

"He pulled into the lane on the passenger side of the truck," Deraitus said after the incident. "I looked because I wanted to see the guy who was tailgating me, and as I looked, he pulled up slow. The first glimpse I got of him, he already had the gun out. He didn't say anything or try to scare me with the pistol or flash the gun. He just fired one shot and basically hit me right between the eyes."

Since the shooting, Deraitus has undergone several surgeries to repair his eye socket and fit him with a prosthetic eye.

"For having what happened, it was the best case," he told the Auburn Reporter previously. "I didn't die, and it didn't hit my brain. I lost my eye and part of my nose, but looking back, it's the best case that could have happened in the situation."

"I don't have any anger," Deraitus continued. "My faith has filled the void that possibly could have been consumed with anger. I don't have a person to focus it toward, either. I know it would only be anger in my life. I don't have anywhere to place it."

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