RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Five interstate shootings in Rutherford County in a matter of 12 weeks. Rutherford County investigators say the incidents date back to March 6, and all of them occurred on Interstate 24.
“I don’t know that we want to blame it ’cause everybody has been cooped up with COVID,” said Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. “Those are the kinds of things we sit around and scratch our heads about trying to figure out the whys of it.”
According to Rutherford County deputies, four of the incidents involve suspects firing bullets at or into cars on the interstate. One report accuses a driver of pointing a handgun at a tractor-trailer driver.
“More people are driving more and more aggressively,” said Traffic Sergeant Michael Rodgers. “So, my guess would be as they are getting more aggressive and as they are getting more confrontational, we are starting to see more weapons.”
So far, four people have been arrested and charged in these cases. Their charges range from reckless endangerment to attempted murder. Two of the cases are still unsolved.
“Once they decide to pull that weapon out, as soon as they display it, they are committing a felony at that point, whether they fire the weapon or not,” said Captain Britt Reed of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Tennessee Highway Patrol to beef up staffing and patrol.
“I know it’s very difficult because human nature is what it is,” said Sheriff Fitzhugh. “But, if somebody aggressively driving cuts you off or whatever, as hard as it may be, it’s best to try to ignore it.”
Fitzhugh’s advice is simple: slow down, stay calm and if you see an act of road rage, report as much detail as you can.