Mississippi family says they were shot at while on I-10 in New Orleans East

A family from Mississippi says they were almost the victims of gun violence while driving through New Orleans.

New Orleans Police are looking into claims from a Mississippi family that someone shot at their car while they were driving on Interstate 10.  

If true, it would be the latest of several recent cases of gun violence on I-10.

With Tropical Storm Cindy showing its first signs in the city on Tuesday, the Dixon family started their trek back to Hattiesburg, MS, after an international vacation.

They were traveling down I-10 East, toward Slidell when, just after the High Rise, their car hydroplaned slightly.  Then they heard a strange sound.

"We didn't know if the car to the right of us had bumped into us, so immediately we pulled over," said Katie Dixon.

But that car continued driving and the area seemed too unsafe to get out, traffic-wise, so they decided to keep going until the first exit in Slidell.  That's when they discovered the noise was two large bullet holes in the front right panel and a nick mark in the passenger door.

"Seeing that the shots were aimed actually at me in the passenger seat that could have missed me and hit my girls in the back, or hit Todd, the driver, and then we all would have been in a wreck," Dixon said. "So many things ran through my mind. Fear. I was scared. Shock."

But the family realized their phones were still programmed to make international calls only.  And the only way to change that, a SIM card, was still in a bag that had been lost by the airline. So the family had to wait until they got home to Hattiesburg to make the call to police. That call resulted in something Dixon says was more shocking than the shooting itself.

After going through Hattiesburg Police to figure out who to call locally, Dixon reached the State Police in New Orleans, who she says forwarded her call to NOPD's 7th District Office.

"They told me basically I had to drive back to New Orleans to file a complaint," she said, "They were very ugly to me that I didn't stop on the side of the road and wait for someone to come."

Dixon says several attempts to call back through that method to speak to an officer or detective were met with run-around.

Before this incident, our crime analyst Jeff Asher reported there had been 19 shootings on I-10 in New Orleans since the start of 2016. 

Dixon says the entire situation makes her sad for her children and for the City of New Orleans.

"Stop this. Put a stop to this," Dixon said. "To the police department: We've got to make people aware of this. We've got to figure out a plan to make people feel safe."

NOPD Spokesman Beau Tidwell told Eyewitness News that "no report has been filed regarding this incident, and there is no record of a reported shooting on the high rise in the 3rd or 7th districts from that date and time. Particularly given the nature of the purported incident, we would encourage your caller to make her report in person so that our officers have the opportunity to examine the physical evidence."

© 2017 WWL-TV


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