As the nation grapples with mass shootings in New York and California last weekend, a new analysis by ABC News shows a startling rise in gun violence along interstate highways. The analysis, which examined nearly 3,000 shootings that occurred on or near U.S. interstates from January 2018 through March 2022, found that interstate highway shootings spiked alongside the overall surge in gun violence over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis seeing some of the biggest spikes. Interstate highway shootings rose from 540 incidents in 2019 to 846 in 2021 -- in increase of 57 percent -- says the Gun Violence Archive.
In just the first three months of this year, at least 149 shooting incidents occurred along or near interstate highway. Overall, the incidents resulted in 680 people killed and more than 1,600 people injured over the last four years and three months. Interstate 10, I-10 in the New Orleans area has been the single most violent stretch of interstate in terms of gun incidents between 2019 and 2021. It's followed by I-94 in the Chicago area, I-240 in the Memphis area, I-35 in the Austin area and I-70 in the St. Louis area. Courtney Bradford, a young man who was about to be married, was shot and killed last year while riding as a passenger in a car on I-240 in Memphis. He and his fiancé had just bought a new home to share with their 5-year-old daughter. . The shooting that took Bradford's life was one of 121 interstate shootings Memphis Police responded to in 2021.