DETROIT, MI – Gunfire has plagued freeways in Detroit for months with more than two dozen shootings taking place in traffic since June 15.
In total, 27 of these cases are under investigation.
According to local news station WXYZ, at least ten of those shootings evolved from incidents of road rage.
In nine of the crimes, police told the media outlet that the people involved knew each other. However, in the other eight, police say the motives are a mystery.
Michigan State Police First Lieutenant, Michael Shaw, told WXYZ:
“There is really not a lot preventively we can do if we don’t know when that time comes that somebody is going to be upset with somebody else and not know how to handle it.”
Series of 27 freeway shootings in Detroit has Michigan State Police stepping up patrols.https://t.co/DpmYx2GFFi
— FOX 17 (@FOX17) November 12, 2020
Most of the shootings have happened on I-96 and Southfield Freeway. Both are major roadways and are dangerous in different ways.
First Lt. Shaw said I-96 is heavily traveled and “just busy with a lot of people.” He said the way Southfield Freeway is built “can lead to more driving incidents.”
He further described the road by saying:
“There’s not a lot of shoulders on there. There’s a lot more hills where people can’t really see each other too much.”
Investigators believe some of the shootings could have been an attempt to avoid getting caught by green light cameras in the city.
Back in 2016, the Detroit Police Department partnered with eight gas stations to install real time camera connections with police headquarters.
The department described it as:
“part of a ground-breaking crime-fighting partnership between local businesses, the City of Detroit and community groups.”
However, if the criminals were truly attempting to avoid having their heinous crimes caught on camera by moving their shootings to the highway, the attempt is a failed one.
State police reveal there are cameras on the highway’s too.
MSP investigators are now working with the Michigan Department of Transportation to use its cameras, on the freeways most affected by these kinds of reckless crimes.
On top of that, Michigan State Police are increasing patrols on all shifts.
They’re asking drivers to help them by simply not putting themselves in unnecessary danger on the freeways, like engaging in fights that build out of road rage.
Since June 15, there have been 27 shootings on metro Detroit freeways.
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) November 12, 2020
First Lt. Shaw said to WXYZ:
“Just let it go. It’s just not worth it to you because you just don’t know what that other person has in their car, what kind of mindset they have. Just let it go.”
On top of the madness of having to investigate every instance of bullets flying on the freeway, the recent spike in crime is further complicating things for police.
They’re dealing with unwarranted reports from drivers who are paranoid.
They say people now call in, worried that their cars have been shot at when, in reality, their cars have only been hit by rocks or road debris.
Here’s First Lt. Shaw’s advice: If you’ve been shot at, you’ll know it.
Two people in Los Angeles can certainly confirm that’s the case.
On Tuesday, November 10th, KTLA reported that the pair was hospitalized after a mid-day shooting on the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles.
Police told local media outlets that bullets hit the car around 2:50 p.m. The victims drove themselves out of traffic and into a McDonald’s parking lot to call for help.
Out of four people in the car, only two were hit. Police told KTLA that a woman had a gunshot wound to her elbow, and a man was hit in his upper body.
Investigators have not made any arrests, and have not said if it was a targeted crime.
In Dallas, there was yet another freeway shooting this week.
This time, the crime proved to be deadly.
Dallas Police told KDFW reporters that they’re still searching for the shooter who gunned down a Dallas-based rapper named Mo3 on Wednesday, November 11th.
— Jane Q (@JaneQFactor) November 14, 2020
The “artist” whose real name is Melvin Noble, was driving on I-35E when another driver approached him.
Police say the 28-year-old victim stopped his car at that point, and a man got out of the other car holding a gun.
Both men took off running down the freeway. The now wanted man shot Noble while chasing him. He died at the hospital.
A stray bullet hit another person in a nearby car too, with no apparent connection to the attack on Noble.
At this point, police cannot say if the case is related to road rage or was a targeted shooting. Mo3’s murder is the city’s 208th of the year.
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Here’s another report from Law Enforcement Today on a case of road rage escalating to a horrifying murder:
Brothers charged with shooting dad in front of his 4 kids in road rage incident
October 26, 2019
GREEN PARK, MO – Why is it that when we place our hands on the steering wheel of a car and enter traffic, we tend to be slightly more on-edge with regard to our temperament?
We’ve all had our spells of uttering an expletive when someone cuts us off or fails to use a turn signal. Yet, there are some folks on the road that go from zero-to-sixty when it comes to their temper, and when their proverbial blood boils, then it can spell disaster for all involved.
The small town of Green Park, Missouri was shaken up earlier this month with a road rage incident that would scare any parent if they had encountered it.
Considering that the town of Green Park has a crime rate which rests 55% less than that of the national average, this was an episodic near-death-experience for a local man and his children that could have ended in a much worse way.
Two brothers, Nicholas and Joseph Marino, were both charged after they allegedly confronted another driver and shot him several times in front of his kids.
The brothers were alleged to have been involved as what’s been described as a road-rage incident, which culminated with one of the brothers opening fire on one of the town’s local barbecue aficionados who was in his vehicle with his four children.
The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. on October 14th of this year, when the brothers Nicholas Marino, 27, and Joseph Marino, 24, had an alleged altercation with another vehicle within the 6000-block of South Lindbergh Boulevard, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.
The other vehicle was driven by Scott Thomas, 46, who also had his children with him in the car which were ages three, six, nine, and eleven.
After the altercation on the road which was associated with what led up to the gunfire, the Marino brothers noticed that Thomas had pulled over his vehicle in an effort to take down their license plate number, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
It was at this point that the two brothers allegedly exited their vehicles to confront Scott Thomas at gunpoint. Charging documents had showcased that Joseph Marino, the younger of the two brothers and also the alleged driver, pulled the car over and pointed a gun at Thomas, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Police stated in their report that the passenger of the vehicle, Nicholas Marino, got out of the car as well while revealing his own firearm and fired at least three shots at Thomas’ vehicle, striking the other car’s driver in the chest and side right in front of his children.
Luckily, none of the children were struck by any of the discharged gunfire, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
St. Louis County police had stopped the Marino brothers at the intersection of South Lindbergh Boulevard and Rusty Road after Joseph Marino used the shoulder of the road to pass traffic. Police had then arrested the brothers and recovered two guns at the scene, the Call Newspapers reported.
The charging documents associated with the road rage incident said that after the brothers were stopped by the St. Louis County police, Nicholas Marino had admitted that he had shot Scott Thomas, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
After the gunfire, first responders aided Thomas and he was transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment. At this time, he is expected to make a full recovery.
The wounded father also happens to be a bit of a local celebrity in his town and also totes a huge social media following due to his endeavors one a barbecue website called www.Grillinfools.com, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
On October 15th, one day after the events resulting in Thomas’ gunshot wounds, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued charges on Nicholas Marino and Joseph Marino.
Nicholas Marino was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action for shooting at Thomas with a cash-only bond set at $75,000, according to Call Newspapers. His younger brother, Joseph, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and has a bond set at $20,000, also cash-only, Call Newspapers reported.
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