Atlanta’s busy interstates and roadways can already be dangerous. But in 2021, drivers and passengers have faced an additional deadly threat: Bullets.
Investigators believe many of the shootings, including several that have been deadly, may have been the result of road rage. In many cases, the shooters drive away before witnesses have enough information to help police track them down.
At least 45 shootings have taken place on Atlanta-area roadways this year, killing 15 people and injuring others.
Jan. 1: Around 4:20 p.m., an Atlanta man said he was driving eastbound on I-20 when he heard two gunshots. That’s when the man looked out the passenger side of his Toyota Camry and saw a black Ford Fusion, according to a police report. The man told officers the shots were fired from the Ford, which then hit the passenger side of the Toyota and left the scene.
The man in Toyota, who was not injured, told investigators the shooting was a random attack.
Jan. 4: Police believe road rage led to an early-morning shooting that shut down a busy Decatur road.
The victim crashed into a parked car at the Scott Court condominiums on Scott Boulevard near Clairemont Avenue following the shooting, Decatur police said. Investigators closed all but one lane while they were on scene from about 4:45 a.m. until just before 7 a.m.
According to Decatur police spokesman Sgt. John Bender, the victim was not injured. He told police he was driving east on Scott Boulevard when he mistakenly cut off an SUV near Coventry Road.
“The SUV pulled alongside the victim’s vehicle and fired shots at the vehicle, striking it,” Bender said in an emailed statement. “The victim accelerated away from the area and struck a parked vehicle in a nearby parking lot.”
Later in the day, there was a second incident, according to police.
Around 12:30 p.m., a driver was found shot inside his car on I-20 West at Capitol Avenue, according to Atlanta police.
An officer at the scene found the man sitting in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound to his head. The driver, 32-year-old Ernesto Anderson, was unconscious but still breathing when he was taken to the hospital, according to police. The father of four died the following day.
Investigators said it appears Anderson lost control of the vehicle on the interstate and crashed into a guardrail after being shot.
Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC
Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC
Jan. 14: A shooting on I-85 in DeKalb County left one man dead, bullets strewn on the interstate, and a nearby Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta building caught in the crossfire.
The victim, identified as 48-year-old Dagamy Dembel, was found alone in his car in the northbound lanes between North Druid Hills and Clairmont roads, according to police.
A Georgia Department of Transportation operator discovered the Gwinnett County man’s vehicle about 4:45 a.m., but initially thought he was a stranded motorist, DeKalb police spokesman Sgt. B. Danner said. When emergency medical officials arrived, they discovered that Dembel had a gunshot wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Police found numerous shell casings and determined several shots had been fired, Danner said.
Feb. 1: A Clayton County man was arrested after he allegedly fired multiple shots at another driver in what police believe was a road-rage incident on I-75.
Rodney Warren Jr., 23, of Jonesboro, was initially detained by an off-duty officer after driving into the parking lot of a Home Depot on Mt. Zion Road. Police found guns and drugs in his car, according to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
No one was injured when Warren fired shots at a man from Macon, who was driving his Nissan Altima on I-75.
Feb. 10: A double shooting in the southbound lanes of I-85 in Midtown left one man dead and wreaked havoc on the morning commute.
The fatal shooting brought traffic to a standstill about 5:15 a.m. just north of the Brookwood interchange. All lanes were shut down for about four hours as police investigated, prompting massive delays.
An off-duty Jonesboro police officer discovered a dark-colored sedan near the entrance to I-75 North about 5:15 a.m. and found two men with gunshot wounds inside, Atlanta police Capt. Jason Smith said at the scene. Jarmel Jowers, 29, was pronounced dead. The other was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and survived his injuries.
Credit: John Spink
Credit: John Spink
Feb. 11: A Grammy-nominated songwriter and rapper from Atlanta said he was chased and shot while driving, causing him to crash his Bentley.
Cydel Charles Young, 36, a songwriter and rapper also known as Cyhi the Prynce, posted a lengthy account of the incident on Instagram, saying “there was an attempt on my life.” His narrative was largely confirmed by an Atlanta police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Young was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital afterward with a minor injury to his hand, police said.
“I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and I have tremendous love for my city ... but it’s chaotic out here,” Young continued. “So everyone that’s in Atlanta right now, please protect yourself, stay out the way and be careful, because it could all be over in a split second.”
Feb. 25: The eastbound lanes of I-20 were closed for more than three hours after a man was found shot to death inside his vehicle in downtown Atlanta.
Police discovered the body of 33-year-old Solomon Howard slumped in a wrecked orange Land Rover on the ramp to the Downtown Connector. Investigators believe Howard drove for some time after being shot before crashing into a median wall. A passerby called 911 to report the wreck, police said.
Two weeks later, 19-year-old Alphonso McCoy was arrested and charged with Howard’s murder.
March 5: A Houston rapper was fatally shot on I-85 in Gwinnett County, according to police.
Chucky Trill, whose legal name was Corey Detiege, was found shot inside a vehicle near the Jimmy Carter Boulevard exit about 3 a.m. and later died at a hospital. He was 33.
According to police spokesman Cpl. Collin Flynn, investigators believe the shots were fired into Detiege’s car from another vehicle.
One hour before Detiege was found on the side of I-85, another gunshot victim was being loaded into an ambulance on the side of I-75 in Clayton County. Police responded about 2 a.m. after a shooting was reported in the southbound lanes near the Mt. Zion Boulevard exit, leaving one man injured.
March 6: A man was grazed by a bullet on I-285 in DeKalb County on a Saturday morning when another driver pulled alongside him and opened fire, DeKalb police spokeswoman Officer Elise Wells said.
Officers were called to a gas station about 4 a.m. after the man, who was in his 40s, pulled over and called 911. Investigators said the shooting occurred several minutes earlier as the man drove along the Perimeter near Moreland Avenue.
The man was treated at a local hospital.
March 30: Shortly before midnight, Atlanta officers were called to a Pryor Street gas station, where a Stone Mountain man drove after getting shot on the interstate, according to police.
The man said got onto Interstate 75/85 northbound and somewhere in between Cleveland and University avenues, a dark-colored car pulled up beside them. Then, the man saw a black handgun come out the window and grabbed his passenger and both of them took cover as several shots were fired.
The driver who reported the shooting had graze wounds to his head, according to the police report.
April 2: A 29-year-old man was taken to a hospital after he was shot while driving on I-20 in southwest Atlanta.
Authorities closed a lane of I-20 West between Langhorn Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive after the gunfire was reported about 3 a.m.
According to Atlanta police, the victim was able to pull to the side of the interstate and call for help after the shooting. He told police he was driving near Langhorn Street when a red vehicle pulled beside him and someone opened fire.
The man was shot at least once and was stable when he was taken to the hospital, police said.
April 3: Around 3 p.m. on a Saturday, Jason Phillips was on his way to work. That’s when the assistant general manager for Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q said he was the victim of road rage on I-20, near the Downtown Connector.
It started when a man driving a white Nissan Maxima cut Phillips off, he said.
“Like anybody would, I flipped him off,” Phillips told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution days later. “He got up beside me again and his window was down. I looked over and I noticed he was pointing a gun at me.”
Phillips never heard the gunshots, but he saw them tear through his SUV and he felt the one that pierced his left thigh. He pulled over and called 911 as two men in the white sedan sped away. At Grady Memorial Hospital, doctors told Phillips how lucky he was to be alive.
April 6: A man told Atlanta he was driving on I-20 near Lee Street when he heard six shots, including one that his Subaru SUV, according to police.
The man didn’t see who fired the shots, but told officers he saw a group of juveniles in the area. A bullet hole struck the passenger side of the vehicle.
April 9: Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies investigated an apparent road-rage shooting on I-20.
The incident happened just after 5 p.m. when the driver of a small, black car shot into the rearview mirror of a white Honda Accord on the Thornton Road entry ramp to I-20, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver of the black car then backed up the entry ramp to Thornton Road, driving away from the scene.
Credit: Channel 2 Action News
Credit: Channel 2 Action News
April 20: A woman told Coweta County deputies that a man in a ski mask shot her while she was driving between the Newnan and Fairburn exits about 5:45 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
The victim said a gray Buick pulled up beside her, and a man wearing a black ski mask aimed a gun at her and fired.
Two days later, Deanthony Clark, 22, of Atlanta, was arrested on counts of aggravated battery and aggravated assault related to the interstate shooting. The victim and Clark reportedly both work at the HelloFresh facility located just off I-85 in Newnan, but did not know each other, according to investigators.
April 22: Paulding County investigators believe a dispute between people in two vehicles led to shots being fired, striking a third car, the sheriff’s office said.
Two cars were traveling east on Macland Road near the intersection of Ida Lane around 5:50 p.m., the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook. That’s when shots were fired from one vehicle to another.
Those two vehicles turned onto Mount Tabor Church Road and were not spotted again, the sheriff’s office said. But a bullet struck another vehicle, though no one was injured.
The two cars involved are believed to be a silver, four-door Nissan and a black sedan, the sheriff’s office said.
April 24: A Powder Springs man told Atlanta police he was attempting to merge onto I-285 southbound from I-20 when a black Porsche SUV sped up. The man swerved to avoid the Porsche and accelerated to pass the SUV, according to an incident report.
At that point, the Porsche began chasing the man and someone inside began firing shots, police said. The man estimated there were four or five shots, and he had gunshot grazes to his back and his head. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment.
April 25: An Ohio woman told police she was visiting Atlanta when she was shot while in the backseat of a friend’s SUV around 2 a.m.
Semaj Mounger told investigators she and three friends were on I-75 northbound when the driver of a black Lexus SUV repeatedly flashed his lights at them. As the SUV approached Mounger’s SUV, she heard a gunshot. A rear passenger, Bridgett Ohiembor, had been shot. Mounger drove to Piedmont Hospital, where Ohiembor was in stable condition after being shot in the hip.
Investigators checked the interstate in the area where the woman was shot but were unable to locate a shell casing. No cameras were located in the area, an Atlanta police report states.
April 29: Investigators believe a man was shot as he traveled on I-20 westbound near downtown Atlanta.
Shortly before 5 p.m., officers were called to Forsyth Street, where they found a man inside a car with an apparent gunshot wound, Atlanta police said. The man was on I-20 westbound near Windsor Street when he was shot, according to police.
The injured man, whose name was not released, was alert when he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Investigators believe the suspect was in a black sedan, possibly a Dodge. The shooting remains under investigation.
May 1: An Athens man was killed and another was injured during a suspected road rage shooting on a Barrow County highway, authorities said.
Barrow deputies responded to a 911 call shortly after midnight and discovered two men shot inside a car near the westbound lanes of Ga. 316, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a news release.
Ketravian Tyvon Cole, 20, had been shot multiple times near Jackson Trail Road and was pronounced dead at the scene. A second Athens man was rushed to the hospital, authorities said. His condition wasn’t immediately available.
May 4: A man was in critical condition after being shot multiple times and crashing his car on a busy DeKalb County highway, police said.
The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. along U.S. 78 near North Druid Hills Road, authorities said. DeKalb police responded to a call about a wreck, but arrived to find a man inside the wrecked car with multiple gunshot wounds, a department spokeswoman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Investigators do not believe it was a road-rage incident.
May 8: At around 7 p.m., Atlanta officers were dispatched to the intersection of Mangum and Mitchell streets, where they located a woman suffering from a gunshot wound. Investigators believe the woman got into a verbal altercation with a man driving a white SUV. The man fired at least one shot, hitting the woman.
She was alert while being taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment, according to police.
May 14: Atlanta officers were called to a Burger King on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway at about 1:20 a.m. where they found a man who had been shot, police said.
Authorities said the man was driving four others on I-20 near I-285 when someone in another car began shooting at him.
The driver was struck once, but none of his passengers were injured, according to police spokesman Officer Anthony Grant.
May 17: Around 1:30 a.m., Atlanta officers were called to the Buford Highway connector and Sidney Marcus Boulevard on a report of a person shot. There, officers found a man inside a vehicle who had been shot, according to police.
Investigators believe the man, Mayco Rodrique, had been a passenger in a vehicle on Ga. 400 when someone in another vehicle started shooting, according to police. He died from his injuries.
Rodrique was a father of six and a grandfather of two, his wife said in the days after his death.
“He found God. And he made a big change,” Kanika Chavis Rodrique told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He had a second chance with his grandchildren and he was making a difference.”
May 20: A Lyft passenger was critically injured after being shot while in the northbound lanes of I-85 by a man sitting behind him in the back seat, according to police.
His Lyft driver stopped near the Cleveland Avenue exit in southwest Atlanta when the shot rang out. The driver reportedly told officers he picked up three passengers and was taking them to their destination when a man riding in the back seat pulled out a gun and shot the passenger in the front. After the shooting, the gunman and the third passenger, a woman, got out and ran across the interstate, police said.
Nearly a week later, Paris Carter, 22, and Raylene McDaniels, 24, were arrested by U.S. Marshals in Pennsylvania, police said in a statement. They are both charged with attempted murder in the shooting.
May 26: Drivers were stuck on I-285 for nearly three hours while DeKalb County police investigated a late-night shooting on the interstate.
Sheikevious Young was taken to a hospital in critical condition after being shot near the Church Street exit, according to police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent. The 21-year-old Young died from her injuries on June 1, according to police.
Detectives are seeking anyone that was in the area around 11:49 p.m. May 26 that may be able to assist in the investigation.
May 28: Damon Fleming, 22, fired shots at a mother and her young daughter during an act of road rage, according to DeKalb County. The woman, whose name was not released, mistakenly cut off Fleming while driving on I-20, police said. Fleming was driving a yellow and black Dodge Charger during the incident, investigators said.
The shooting was reported in the eastbound lanes near the Wesley Chapel Road exit. A spokeswoman for DeKalb police said no injuries were reported. But photos showed a van with a blown-out back windshield.
Fleming, 22, was arrested on June 14 and charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children. The Covington man was being held without bond Thursday at the DeKalb jail, booking records showed.
Credit: Family photo
Credit: Family photo
May 29: Around 9:30 p.m., a Doraville police officer checked on a car stopped in the wall lane of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, just south of Tilly Mill Road. Inside, the officer found a woman in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound, according to Doraville police. Officers found the gunshot wound while trying to render aid to her. She died at the scene.
On a GoFundMe page created to assist the family with funeral expenses, the woman was identified as Carmen Lee, a 2018 graduate of the University of Georgia.
The Doraville Police Department is asking anyone who may have been traveling along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard around that time to contact investigators by calling 770-455-1000 or via doravillepolice.us/online-services.
June 1: At 9:25 p.m., investigators were called to a three-vehicle crash on I-285 eastbound and the Riverdale Road exit ramp in College Park. At the scene, officers determined two men inside a BMW had been shot multiple times before crashing into two other vehicles. Both men died from their injuries. They were identified as Alessander Bryant, 31, and 22-year-old Marquise Flores.
Those inside the two vehicles hit by the BMW were injured, but are expected to survive. The College Park police department said the incident was the apparent result of road rage. A fourth vehicle, believed to be the shooting suspect’s vehicle, was not located.
June 3: An Austell man was arrested after he allegedly fired two shots at a woman’s car as she drove in Marietta, according to police.
A bullet hit the left front tire of the woman’s 2017 Honda Civic, causing the tire to blow and damaging the hubcap, an arrest warrant states. Keshun Burns was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage, terroristic threats, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony, record show.
June 4: No one was injured in the shooting, which happened around 9:25 a.m. near the intersection of Old Roswell and Holcomb Bridge roads, according to Officer Tim Lupo with Roswell police. But a driver’s van was damaged by the gunfire.
Investigators believe a gray sedan pulled up along the right side of the van and someone fired at least one round from a handgun. The suspect then drove west on Holcomb Bridge Road, Lupo said in an emailed statement.
June 7: A man was injured in DeKalb County after an altercation between people in two different cars on Columbia Drive led to gunfire and a wreck.
The shooting took place just before 12:30 a.m., DeKalb police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent said. Two cars were driving along Columbia near the intersection with Memorial Drive when gunshots erupted between them.
One driver was hit in the shoulder, causing him to crash into an SUV in front of him. The man was taken to the hospital and was stable, Vincent said. His identity has not been released.
June 14: A woman was injured when someone pulled beside her vehicle on I-85 and started shooting.
“Preliminary investigation found that the victim was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on I-85 with a black sedan pulled alongside of the vehicle and someone began shooting,” Atlanta police spokesman Officer Steve Avery said. “The victim was wounded, and the driver pulled over. The suspect vehicle fled.”
The victim, whose name was not released, was stable when she was taken to a hospital.
The shooting investigation shut down the northbound lanes of the interstate just before the Ga. 400 split, causing hours of heavy delays through Midtown Atlanta. The lanes were closed from 4:45 until 6:45 a.m. while police were at the scene.
June 18: A driver was injured after he left a legendary Atlanta strip club when trouble broke out and shots were fired at his vehicle on I-20, police said.
Friday’s shooting was reported about 1:20 a.m. in the area of Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard. According to Atlanta police, the victim said he left the Magic City club on Forsyth Street after a dispute broke out.
“The victim left the nightclub and was driving on I-20 near H.E. Holmes when his vehicle was struck by gunfire and the victim was wounded,” police spokesman Officer Steve Avery said in a news release.
The man was stable when he was taken to a hospital, Avery said. His name was not released.
June 22: A driver was shot multiple times at an intersection in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, according to police.
Officers were called to the intersection of Edgewood Avenue and William H. Borders Drive in southeast Atlanta about 8:20 p.m. and found the man in the driver’s seat with gunshot wounds, authorities said. The man, whose name was not released, told police he was approaching the intersection when another vehicle drove by and opened fire. The wounded driver was taken to a hospital.
June 23: A 33-year-old man in a pickup truck yelled racial slurs and shot at a woman after she blew her horn at him on I-85, according to DeKalb County police. The woman was not injured.
On June 30, the accused shooter, Benjamin O’Connell, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The Lilburn man was later released on bond, jail records show.
June 30: Two separate shootings injured three people traveling on Atlanta roads, according to police. A third shooting also damaged a driver’s windshield in Fairburn.
Around 2 p.m., two men said they were shot while driving on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard. It was not clear if the shots were fired from another vehicle, and the men could not provide police with a description of the shooter. Both were stable when they were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to police.
Then at 8:45 p.m., a woman called police from Moreland Avenue about 8:45 p.m. to report she had been shot. She told police she was riding in a friend’s car on I-20 when an orange Kia Forte pulled out in front of them near Boulevard in east Atlanta.
That was when the two heard their windshield crack and the woman began to bleed from her chest, according to a police report. The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.
In Fairburn, Kiesen Arnold thought a rock had hit his windshield while driving on I-20. The glass shattered on him and his best friend, also in the front seat, and Arnold pulled over. That’s when he found a bullet inside his Honda Civic.
“Once we found the bullet, that’s the emotions kicked in,” Arnold said.
Neither Arnold nor his passenger was injured.
July 6: A man was in stable condition after being shot multiple times while driving on the Downtown Connector, according to Atlanta police.
Around 4:20 a.m., officers were called to a report of someone in a vehicle shooting at another vehicle near 10th Street, police said. A short time later, DeKalb County officers were called to a vehicle crash on I-20 near Gresham Road.
At the crash scene, officers learned one of the wrecked vehicles had been involved in the earlier shooting on the Connector, police said. One driver, whose name was not released, had been taken to the hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds before officers arrived.
July 10: A Lyft passenger was shot multiple times when someone in another car opened fire on the ride-hailing vehicle in Little Five Points, authorities said.
Atlanta police said the man was riding with a friend along Moreland Avenue about 2:20 a.m. when they heard gunshots. The man realized he had been struck and called 911 from a gas station. He was conscious at the scene and taken to the hospital, Atlanta police said.
It’s unclear what led to the shooting or if investigators have identified any suspects in the case.
July 14: A man was killed after shots were fired from one vehicle into another in northern Clayton County, police said. Officers responding to the shooting about 4:45 p.m. found the victim dead inside his wrecked vehicle in the area of Mango Court and Conley Road. There were bullet holes in the side of the car, Clayton police spokeswoman Sgt. Julia Isaacs said from the scene.
“The vehicle was traveling down the road,” Isaacs told reporters. “One vehicle overtook the other and shot rounds into the vehicle.”
The man’s name was not released.
July 17: Around 1:38 pm, officers were called to 965 Cunningham Place in Atlanta on a report of a person shot. There, officers found a vehicle on fire and a male deceased inside. Investigators believe the man was driving in the area when he was shot.
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