updated 8/21/2006 5:55:56 PM ET 2006-08-21T21:55:56

A Veterans Administration psychiatrist charged with firing gunshots at a van carrying children told the officer who stopped him that it was an act of road rage, authorities said.

Dr. Alex Abelardo Fider, a psychiatrist at the VA hospital in Murfreesboro, was charged with aggravated assault. He was released on a $10,000 bond Monday.

A Nissan Quest carrying an adult and two 11-year-olds was exiting Interstate 24 on Sunday when three shots were fired from a Dodge Caravan, Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Julie Oaks said. At least one round hit the Nissan, she added.

She said the Nissan’s driver returned to the interstate to follow the Dodge and called the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The trooper who stopped the Dodge near Kimball reported finding three spent shell casings in the glove box and a pistol under the passenger seat, Oaks said.

The arrest report said Fider, a passenger in the van, told the trooper the shooting was an act of road rage, Oaks said.

Fider, scheduled to appear in court Sept. 12, did not immediately return a message left for him at the hospital Monday.

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