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CLEVELAND, Ohio — A fender-bender on East 55th Street Thursday afternoon escalated into gunfire when one driver chased down the other car and shot a passenger in the face.

The 21-year-old victim was conscious and breathing when taken to MetroHealth Medical Center following the shooting. His name and condition had not been released Thursday.

According to police, a man driving a Honda rear-ended a black SUV around 4:20 p.m. near East 55th Street and Broadway.

Police said the driver of the SUV got out and approached the other driver’s car.

“You better have some [expletive] insurance,” the man said. “Or I’m going to shoot you.”

The Honda’ driver, whose name has not been released, panicked and took off.

The SUV driver caught up with the Honda at East 55th and Interstate 490. The SUV driver pulled up on the right side of the Honda and fired two shots, one hitting the front-seat passenger in the face and the other piercing the passenger-side door.

The SUV driver and his two passengers took off down East 55th and Francis streets. Police later found the SUV at East 65th Street and Newman Avenue in Cleveland. Police said the vehicle had been stolen from Maple Heights.

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