SARASOTA, Fla. — Coty Barnett drove from her home in Zolfo Springs on Tuesday afternoon to a small tow yard in Sarasota to pick up her husband Zachary Barnett's truck.

  • Coty Barnett says her husband was shot, killed Saturday
  • Incident started as road rage argument near U.S. 301 intersection
  • Manatee County Sheriff's Office is still investigating
  • LINK: GoFundMe page to help mother, children

It was the first time she had a chance to see Zachary's possessions that were left behind after he died Saturday following what investigators say started as a road rage incident. 

"Today was bad. Today was very bad," she said. "I woke up this morning and I couldn't breathe. It's like every day that I wake up and he's not here it makes it more real." 

Investigators have not released the name of either man involved in the incident. Coty Barnett confirmed to Spectrum Bay News 9 that the man killed during the incident was her husband, Zachary. 

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Barnett was driving east on Buckeye Road near the intersection of U.S. 301 just after 5 p.m. Saturday when the incident began. A second man, who has not been publicly identified, was driving in the same area and told investigators that Barnett ran him off the road.

That driver then pulled beside Barnett and the two got into a verbal altercation, investigators said. Barnett then went up to the other driver's vehicle and leaned into an open window. The driver picked up his gun and pointed it at Barnett, investigators confirmed. 

According to the report, Barnett pulled out his gun, and the other driver fired a shot which killed Barnett. 

"Audrey, my 2-year-old, will start crying for her daddy, and Lily will say 'Audrey, daddy's dead,'" Coty explained, speaking about communication between her two oldest daughters. 

As of Tuesday, no charges have been filed. Investigators with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office are continuing to work the case. It will then be reviewed by the State Attorney's Office. 

"I just want to know," she said. "If there’s charges filed that would be awesome, but if not I'll have to live with that."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the mother and children.

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