MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has uncovered new information about a dangerous local problem.
As it turns out, there were more shootings on Memphis highways and interstates in the year 2019 than previously thought.
Records obtained by WREG revealed nearly 10 more incidents that haven’t been brought to light until now.
Sadly, nearly all of the additional incidents happened during the busy holiday travel season, with one on Christmas Day and several during the week of Thanksgiving.
In one case on Thanksgiving Day, a woman who just left family dinner was trying to merge onto I-55 from I-240, but another driver wouldn’t let her over.
“I’m really spooked,” said the woman, who didn’t want to be identified. “It’s a traumatic experience, seriously.”
She told police she honked at him, so he drove up on her passenger side and shot at her.
“I was just in shock, and I was like, I can’t believe that this guy just shot at me, you know, just because I’m trying to get over,” she said.
Thankfully she wasn’t hit, but her car was. The incident terrified her. It’s one of eight new highway shootings WREG uncovered in records we obtained.
This brings the total number of interstate or highway shootings in 2019 from 38 to 46, as Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland pushes for more state troopers on the road to assist the extra police officers already patrolling.
“We also would like a permanent presence of the THP (Tennessee Highway Patrol) on the interstates,” Strickland said last year. “We have had a significant number of interstate shootings, we’ve put more police officers out there, but the more HP officers we have there, the more officers we can have patrolling our streets in Memphis.”
Police are still looking for the man who shot at the woman on Thanksgiving Day.
“If he did once, he’ll do it again,” she said. “I know a person like that shouldn’t even be allowed to be on the street anymore.”