4 shootings on mayor roadways puzzle New Orleans police

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A recent spate of shootings on interstate highways in New Orleans has the police chief searching for answers.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that seven people have been hurt in four recent interstate shootings.

“I cannot really give you any rhyme or reason behind any of this, but we do have our concerns because we have noticed an uptick in that particular crime,” Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he suspects road rage could be a factor in some of the shootings. He said the New Orleans police department has asked Louisiana State Police for help patrolling the interstate. But, he noted, state police are facing the same staffing challenges faced by the city.

“So whenever they can, they will assist, but to my knowledge, right now, they’re just not in a position to assist immediately,” Ferguson said.

An infant and a teenage girl are among the wounded. Both were hit in an April 26 incident that shut down I-10 for about an hour.

The four shootings in April continue a trend stretching back to 2020. The newspaper noted that there were at least six reports of gunfire on I-10 and I-610 last year.

Ferguson said both non-fatal shootings and homicides have spiked in New Orleans and nationally. New Orleans police have responded to 157 non-fatal shootings and 52 shooting deaths so far this year, according to local crime statistics.

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