Police investigate two incidents of gunfire on South Jersey highways, believe 1 may be road rage

Trish Hartman Image
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Police investigate two incidents of gunfire on South Jersey highways
Police believe at least one of the incidents may be a case of road rage.

NEW JERSEY (WPVI) -- New Jersey State Police are investigating two instances of weekend gunfire on major highways, and they believe at least one of the incidents may be a case of road rage.

Officials say, so far, they do not believe the two incidents are connected. Still, in a span of about 12 hours, two cases of gunfire on major South Jersey highways is concerning to authorities and drivers.

Troopers say the case of road rage that ended in gunfire began around 1:00 a.m. Sunday on State Highway 55 in Vineland.

The victim told troopers a man in a white SUV fired two shots at his pickup truck, striking it twice as he drove southbound on 55 approaching Exit 35. Police say the white SUV with a male driver and a female passenger continued southbound and fled.

"It's outrageous to see how some people get angry for no reason," said Joseph Morgan of Paulsboro.

Drivers were alarmed to learn of a second, unrelated incident about 12 hours later in Bellmawr.

State troopers say a man driving north on I-295 on Sunday afternoon was shot in the hand between exits 28 and 29. The victim told police the suspect fired multiple shots from a dark-colored sedan and fled northbound on I-295.

According to the data collection nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, road rage shootings have been on the rise in recent years, and if the trend continues through the rest of this year, there will be a 33% increase in people injured or killed in road rage shootings compared to 2020.

Drivers told Action News they've noticed more aggressive driving since pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Instructors at South Jersey Driving School in Moorestown say they've always taught students how to handle road rage situations. But lately, students tend to experience the behavior firsthand.

"I had a lesson just an hour ago, and we sat at least three different occasions where drivers were very aggressive," said Tony Caracci, owner of South Jersey Driving School. "A couple of them went through stop signs."

Caracci's advice? Do not engage.

"If they're acting that way, with language or hand signals or things like that, just look straight ahead. And they'll leave you alone," he said.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information on either shooting should contact New Jersey State Police.