NOPD doesn't believe I-10 shootings are related as concerns rise

As the violence in New Orleans spills over onto the highway, drivers are worried about how to avoid the recent rise in shootings on I-10.

NEW ORLEANS -- It seems each new shooting in New Orleans only helps to make 2017 one of the deadliest in recent years. 

The rise in shootings doesn't surprise locals much, but what's becoming alarming is the number shootings on I-10.

"It's absolutely terrifying," said Andrew Ellner a resident in the Bywater.

Ellner says driving on the Interstate with bad drivers is bad enough. 

"First thought, I'd be afraid if somebody did shoot me. Secondly, I'd think I had a flat tire," Ellner said.

Now he has something new to worry about.  From 2010 to 2015, there were 17 shootings, over the past 18 months, 22 cases have been reported from New Orleans East to the city's western edge.  New Orleans police say, so far, they don't believe any of these are related.

But as some take caution or avoid I-10, we spoke with Robert Allen for insight.  Allen spent years as an investigator for several police agencies across the country; he now teaches at Tulane University's School of Emergency and Security Studies.

"It's quite a coincidence that you've had that many over a timeline," he said.

He says it's concerning that some of the violence appears to be bleeding onto the highway.  We traveled back to last week's incident near the Irish Bayou and Michoud area, where a mom traveling with four kids came in the line of fire.

"The way I look at it is from where the round made entry -- somebody fired it from behind her," Allen said.

He says nothing can be ruled out, but it's puzzling for a road rage incident.  And in another case, last month, a witness said it sounded like a hail of bullets.

"At face value, I feel like there some sort of history because they fired some rounds into this car.  You got a driver that was hit, the male, you got the female, and you got the 7-year old that was hit," Allen said.

It's actually not surprising someone may take aim at a moving car according to Allen, and it's hard to get a description.

"The average person if they're driving down the street then all of a sudden their window gets shattered out it's hard to react to that," Allen said.

Though the incidents are up, the odds of being shot on the interstate are remote.  Currently in 2017, Interstate shootings make up only 3.3 percent of all shootings in Orleans Parish.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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