Memphis breaks interstate shooting record, many go unsolved

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In less than 12 hours, two interstate shootings have once again rocked the Memphis roadways. Memphis Police said this makes 71 interstate shootings this year, a new record.

Memphis Police said every precinct has at least two officers working along the interstate to deter criminal activity. One officer said he believes the increase in interstate shootings could be due to an increase of people having guns in their cars.

“Most of the people that are probably committing this road rage interstate type shootings probably don’t have handgun carry permits,” Samuel Hines, the MPD Deputy Chief of Uniform Patrol in District One, said.

Hines said there have been 71 interstate shootings so far this year compared to last years’ 45 shootings. He said due to lack of information, they have been able to pull together eight cases where they have made nine arrests.

One of those arrests was Trae Payne who Memphis Police said shot at an off-duty officer on I-240 and Poplar before leading officers on a high-speed chase Wednesday morning.

Hines said the cause of the shootings varies from road rage to arguments that started in various neighborhoods, carrying over to the roadways.

“There’s innocent parties that are just driving perhaps even in the opposite direction that may become a victim to that,” Hines said.

Hines said he believes an increase in guns in cars could be leading to the increase in interstate shootings. In Tennessee, people are allowed to carry their loaded weapon in their car without a permit.

However, Hines believe people may be taking advantage of the law and using the weapons for malicious purposes.

“Sometimes you don’t have the probable cause to make the stop on the individual, and it just gives them that unofficial license to have a weapon in the car,” Hines said.

Hines said they need the public’s help to solve these crimes. If you witness any type of criminal activity on the interstate, police will need the location of the crime, description of the vehicle as well as the license number.

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