“I was watching this morning on the news going, ‘Wow, not again,” resident Luis Luzano said. The 17-year-old was with his 9-year-old sister when he passed by the crime scene on Sam Cooper.
“It’s alarming because I could be driving somewhere and all of a sudden I could go, and that could be life threatening for us,” he said.
We put a map together to give you a better look at where some of these shootings have occurred so far in 2019. Many of the shootings have been along I-40 and I-240, with several happening in the Highway 385 area.
Here’s something to keep in mind though, there are only 16 locations we have reported on. Memphis police told us there have been several more, which brings the total to 29.
“Sometimes I need to go out, but I’m afraid that I’m going to get hurt. You know what I mean?” Luzano said.
He’s not alone. Driver Mike Miller says he now avoids the major thoroughfares.
“It used to be like a quick shot to help you get somewhere in a hurry. No. Not if you’re going to live through it.”
Memphis police say of the 29 shoots they’ve responded to, 10 people were either hit or grazed by a bullet. So far, four people connected to the crimes have been arrested. Sometimes the victims know the shooter, sometimes it’s road rage and sometimes arguments from other areas spill onto the roads.
“We have increased our patrols on the interstate. We’ve asked the sheriff’s office and the Tennessee Highway Patrols Office to also increase their patrols and they are doing that,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.
Strickland says that’s the short-term answer to the violence. He says they’re also working to get legislation passed for stiffer penalties for those convicted of road rage.
Police say if you see an aggressive driver, or someone involved in a road rage incident call them. They say interstate patrols will continue, but they need your help to stop random acts of violence.