INDIANAPOLIS — Road rage incidents involving guns on Indiana highways continue to rise.
"In the past few years, we've seen a rise in this very dangerous and deadly trend of shootings occurring on our area interstates," said ISP Sgt. John Perrine.
Perrine said so far this year, there have been 11 shootings related to road rage.
It's a disturbing trend that doesn't appear to be slowing down.
In 2021 there were 66, compared to 23 in 2020.
"It's something we didn't experience before. Ten, 15, even 20 years ago, shootings on the interstate were rare and now they're not rare and it's concerning," said Perrine.
Everytown Research & Policy found the number of road rage injuries and deaths involving guns increased nationally every year since 2018.
In that year, at least 70 road rage shooting deaths occurred in the United States.
Last year, the number doubled to 141.
In the Hoosier State, ISP tracked 53 incidents of someone pointing a gun at another driver since Jan. 1, 2023.
In January, someone shot and killed Richard Donnell Hamilton, known as "Coach Nell," in an apparent road rage incident. He was riding in a van on Interstate 65 near Greenwood.
Coach Nell mentored hundreds of kids through his Indy Steelers program in the Butler Tarkington neighborhood.
A month later, Ryan Powers was hit by three bullets while merging on to Interstate 465 south from 56th Street.
"When I originally found out they caught him, I had cold chills. It was like a whole entire weight released from me because I don't deserve this," said Powers.
That same month, state police say one driver fired shots at another on I-65 southbound near 21st Street. The bullet went through the passenger door, hit the driver in the leg, then exited the driver's door.
In March, court documents say Xavion Eubank fired a shot at another vehicle while driving on 465. Eubank told authorities that he and another driver got into an argument, admitting to firing one shot at the vehicle.
Eubank was later arrested for his role in that road rage shooting.
The recent shootings have Hoosiers concerned.
So, how can you escape aggressive drivers?
- Call 911
- Carefully change lanes
- Get off the interstate
- Look for help: A police officer, a fire station, gas station or any place with lots of people.
"We strongly discourage hand gestures, horn honking, yelling, screaming, intentional acts because sometimes those are being returned with gunfire and we don't want to see that," said Perrine.