Road rage, shots fired incident in Provo was part of a growing trend nationwide, data suggests

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PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Provo City police report a woman’s car was shot at multiple times over a road rage incident. Nationally, data shows road rage incidents involving firearms are increasing, and have been in recent years.

Police are investigating the shooting that happened Tuesday night in the area of 650 W. and 100 N. Leading up to the incident, police said a woman yelled at a driver to slow down, as they were allegedly speeding down the road.

“The suspect vehicle slammed on their brakes, the victim got into their car and the suspect vehicle then flipped a U-turn on the road and started tailing the victim as she was driving down the road,” said Sgt. Nick Dupaix, with the Provo City Police Department.

Shortly after, the victim pulled over and the suspects pulled up alongside of her, according to Sgt. Dupaix.

“[They] said something to the effect of, ‘Do you have a problem with me?’ and then began firing shots into her vehicle,” he said, emphasizing that fortunately, no one was hurt.

As defined by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage is when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.”

Road rage incidents aren’t uncommon, Sgt. Dupaix told ABC4 News. But he said ones that involve a firearm are not something their department sees often, and they will not tolerate when they happen.

“Hence why we’re looking for them and we need the communities help in finding them,” he said.

A report by Everytown for Gun Safety (of data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive) finds road rage shootings are on the rise in the United States. And right now, 2021 is on track to be the deadliest year on record, with a projected 500 people injured or killed.

Overall numbers of road rage shootings have increased from 616 in 2016, to 701 last year, according to the report. Projections for this year show that number could top more than 800 incidents.

When a gun is fired at a vehicle, Sgt. Dupaix said bullets redirect their path when they hit.

“This is not like the movies where you watch it and somebody shoots through a window and the bullet goes straight through. No, bullets will end up redirecting their path when they hit that vehicle,” he said. “If you’re shooting it at a vehicle that person’s in, your bullet could end up straying and hitting something or someone else.”

In a situation like Tuesday’s road rage shooting in Provo, Sgt. Dupaix said a suspect could face multiple offenses.

“There’s possible charges that could attempted homicide, it could be aggravated assault, a felony, a discharge of a firearm,” he said.

If a person becomes involved in a road rage situation with another driver, Sgt. Dupaix said to remain calm, don’t feed into another person’s anger and if there’s a risk of danger, call 911.

Police said the suspect’s vehicle is described as a 2000 to 2010 Maroon Nissan Sentra with fire damage to the rear. They continue to say the occupants of the vehicle are described as a Hispanic female with blonde hair and glasses and a Hispanic male.

With more information on this case, Provo police ask the public to call Detective Smith at 801-852-6210.

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