MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Here we go again. Anger boils over and bullets fly on a busy Memphis road, not once, but twice in the last 24 hours.
Local 24 News has also learned the latest driver with bullet holes is in his car is an off-duty Southaven Police officer. That shooting happened around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday at I-40 west and Sam Cooper Boulevard.
Just hours earlier, there was also a shooting a 385 east and Ridgeway Road.
Those shooters have not been located yet, but these incidents are rattling drivers, including those who make a living on roads at all hours of the day.
“It’s just not worth it, losing your life over a lane change,” Jerry Cantrell said.
Cantrell is especially not going to take that chance. He drives across Memphis for Uber or Lyft 50 to 60 hours a week.
“People trying to protect their lives and their livelihood, they are having to make decisions on where to go and where not to go,” Cantrell said.
The threat is increasingly real for those who frequently drive on the Bluff City’s busiest roads.
With two shootings just hours apart, a Memphis Police spokesperson said there have been 29 shootings so far this year on Memphis interstate and roadways.
“I don’t feel safe,” Tyler Harvison said. “I mean I drive 15 miles to work, 15 miles to work.”
Wednesday morning’s shooting in east Memphis left bullet holes in the car of off-duty Southaven Police Officer Brandon Billingsley.
The other went down Tuesday night in Hickory Hill, which Gene Scott witnessed afterwards.
“This is at 10:30 at night, if it happened at 6, 7 o’clock in the morning, I can only imagine how bad the traffic build-up would be,” Scott said.
In response to this rash of road rage, Memphis Police added patrols along busy roadways and both Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies and Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers offered their help.
“I realize we’ve got plenty of cops working on the situation, state troopers and such, but it looks like we are going to have to have more and more, or something else is going to happen,” Scott said.
Earlier this year, a proposed state law didn’t pass, which would have increased the penalties for those convicted of road rage shootings on highways and interstates.