Shootings on metro Atlanta roadways this year have left five dead, others injured

February 10, 2021 Atlanta: A double shooting in the southbound lanes of I-85 in Midtown left one man dead and wreaked havoc on Wednesday morning’s commute on Feb, 10, 2021. 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, leading to massive delays in Midtown, Buckhead and all through the northern suburbs, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Drivers stuck behind the closure did not move for more than two hours before authorities began turning cars around. Backups stretched all the way to the Ga. 400 merge. 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 from the scene. One man was pronounced dead. The other was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and survived his injuries. The officer initially thought he had come across a wreck, but quickly called for backup and tried to help the victims, Smith said. It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday morning where the shots were fired from. Detectives are still working to piece together what prompted the fatal shooting and identify a suspect. Smith said detectives are trying to interview the surviving victim to find out exactly what happened. “This does not appear to be a random act,” Smith said. “It appears to be a dispute that had escalated.” All lanes reopened about 9:15 a.m. when police finally cleared the crime scene. “We always hate when we have to do that,” Smith said when asked about shutting down the interstate. “Unfortunately, we have to make sure that we process the crime scene appropriately, and it does take time.” (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)
February 10, 2021 Atlanta: A double shooting in the southbound lanes of I-85 in Midtown left one man dead and wreaked havoc on Wednesday morning’s commute on Feb, 10, 2021. 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, leading to massive delays in Midtown, Buckhead and all through the northern suburbs, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Drivers stuck behind the closure did not move for more than two hours before authorities began turning cars around. Backups stretched all the way to the Ga. 400 merge. 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 from the scene. One man was pronounced dead. The other was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and survived his injuries. The officer initially thought he had come across a wreck, but quickly called for backup and tried to help the victims, Smith said. It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday morning where the shots were fired from. Detectives are still working to piece together what prompted the fatal shooting and identify a suspect. Smith said detectives are trying to interview the surviving victim to find out exactly what happened. “This does not appear to be a random act,” Smith said. “It appears to be a dispute that had escalated.” All lanes reopened about 9:15 a.m. when police finally cleared the crime scene. “We always hate when we have to do that,” Smith said when asked about shutting down the interstate. “Unfortunately, we have to make sure that we process the crime scene appropriately, and it does take time.” (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

‘It’s chaotic out here,’ says one of the victims

Atlanta’s busy interstates and roadways can already be dangerous. But in recent months, 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. Most recently, a driver was wounded in the westbound lanes of I-20 in Atlanta, police said. Officers were called to a Burger King on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway at about 1:20 a.m. Friday and discovered the gunshot victim, who was conscious at the scene.

At least 18 shootings have taken place on Atlanta area roadways this year, killing five people and injuring others.

Jan. 4: 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.

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. One man was pronounced dead. The other was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and survived his injuries.

All southbound lanes of I-85 are shut down in Midtown after a person was shot and killed on the interstate on Feb. 10.
All southbound lanes of I-85 are shut down in Midtown after a person was shot and killed on the interstate on Feb. 10.

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.

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.

Jason Phillips is recovering after being shot Saturday during a road rage encounter on I-20 in Atlanta.
Jason Phillips is recovering after being shot Saturday during a road rage encounter on I-20 in Atlanta.

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

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.

A woman was hit in the back during a shooting on I-85 in Coweta County.
A woman was hit in the back during a shooting on I-85 in Coweta County.

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 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.

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