FedEx driver Timothy Warren was trying to do his job efficiently when Joseph Magnuson screamed at him for going too fast reports The Washington Post. Warren was reportedly driving no more than 20 miles per hour. The incident escalated when Magnuson, a white man, hurled a racial slur at Warren, a Black man.

Witnesses claim Magnuson then threw either food or a drink at the FedEx worker and attempted to punch him. Warren then punched his attacker, hitting him just above the eye. The blow rendered Magnuson unconscious, and the 55-year-old died that evening.   

From speaking with witnesses, Senior Deputy District Attorney of Multnomah County Adam Gibb determined: “Mr. Magnuson then ‘very aggressively’ began yelling at Mr. Warren to slow down. Mr. Warren stopped his truck while Mr. Magnuson continued to berate him. The witnesses agree that Mr. Magnuson called Mr. Warren a ‘f**king n****r’ in combination with other aggressive and abusive phrases ‘over and over again.’” 

Warren won't be facing charges, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said Monday. Prosecutors determined the 41-year-old acted in self-defense and had no intention of killing Magnuson. Oregon does not carry a “duty to retreat” law requiring Warren to step away from danger instead of fighting back. 

A medical examiner concluded the punch Magnuson suffered wasn't the cause of death. The expert found the 55-year-old was in "extremely poor health," according to Gibbs. The fall he sustained following the punch is believed to have aggravated the man's already precarious constitution. 

Newsweek reports Gibbs wrote in his findings, "The death might have been avoided had Mr. Warren not stopped his truck and verbally engaged with Mr. Magnuson. However, the decision by Mr. Warren … to not let the racist vitriol to which he was being subjected go unanswered is not of legal significance."

Warren cooperated with investigators and had no criminal record. 

FedEx spokeswoman Nikki Mendicino did not comment on Warren's current employment status but said the shipping company “fully cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation of this unfortunate incident. We extend our condolences to all those affected."

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