NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After officers had a sting targeting aggressive drivers on I-24, a man was shot in the hip while driving on the highway in an incident Metro police are calling “apparent road rage,” according to a news release.
The victim of Thursday’s shooting was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he is expected to recover, but the suspect hasn’t been caught.
This is the latest in a series of similar shootings that have happened on Middle Tennessee highways this year.
While not involved in this latest case, Sgt. Adam Grinder with Tennessee Highway Patrol has 18 years of experience in car-related incidents and says these sorts of events tend to happen at peak drive times.
“Anytime you have increased congestion, that’s when you tend to have that uptick. When you have more motorists forced into one area, that’s where we seem to have the most problems,” Grinder said.
Around the same time last week, Metro police say a similar incident happened on the highway.
According to law enforcement, a woman was sent to the hospital after multiple bullets went through the trunk of her car and hit her while she was driving on I-24.
To prevent aggressive driving and road rage, law enforcement officers across multiple jurisdictions and departments have launched initiatives to put more officers on the roads to catch aggressive drivers before someone gets hurt.
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“Earlier this year, we partnered with Metro Police Department on I-24 in that corridor. During that time we saw a 19% reduction in crashes and a saw huge decrease in aggressive driving violations in that area,” Grinder said.
And just last week, Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department and the Murfreesboro Police Department held “Operation Fall Brakes” where they had an increased law enforcement presence on Veterans Parkway and Interstate 24.
During this day-long initiative, the sheriff’s department says officers stopped drivers on 326 driving and drug-related offenses.
“By our saturation efforts, we saved lives tonight,” Sgt. Sean Vinson, who coordinated the operation, said in a news release.
The officers focused on looking out for the typical signs of aggressive driving.
“Could be anything from tailgating, somebody is trying to take up your space on the highway, someone looking to be in a hurry to get somewhere and you’re in their way,” Sgt. Grinder said.
Grinder recommends people keep a cool head when in an aggressive driving situation and not step out of their vehicle. Instead, he recommends not making any aggressive moves in response, taking down a license plate number if possible, and alerting law enforcement once they are in a safe location.