DAVIE (CBSMiami) – It has happened again. Another victim has been wounded while driving or riding in a car on a South Florida Highway.
The Florida Highway Patrol said there is average of one vehicle a week being shot at on a South Florida highway and said there has been a surge in criminal activity, including such shootings in the past six months.READ MORE: Miami PD Needs Help Finding 84-Year-Old Joseph Downs
In the latest case, FHP said around 4:45 a.m. they received word of the shooting. They said the man was driving on the interstate when his Toyota sedan was hit by several bullets, one struck him in the lower back.
After being shot, he was able to pull into a Tom Thumb gas station, in the 4600 block of SW 160th Avenue in Southwest Ranches, and contacted the police.
CBS4 was there as officers and crime scene technicians scoured for evidence and studied the bullet holes in the man’s car.
The man was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he underwent surgery and his condition has stabilized.
The FHP is trying to determine what led to the shooting. They do not have a description of the shooter or the vehicle they were in.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the FHP by dialing *347. You can also call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).
This latest shooting happened as FHP has launched Operation Safe Highway with its criminal interdiction units saturating I-95 in Miami-Dade and Broward Conunties.READ MORE: Finding A Mental Health Counselor Can Be 'Challenging And Overwhelming'
Most of these shootings happen during overnight hours. On November 16th, a 9-year-old was shot and taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center after her father’s grey Chrysler Sedan was shot at numerous times on the Don Shula Expressway near Killian Parkway. Operation Safe Highway is aimed at deterring criminal and highway violence.
In this latest case, it is not known if the victim was targeted or it this was random or a case of road rage.
CBS4 spoke with FHP Lt. Alex Camacho who said, “Sometimes people are targeted. Sometimes these are road rage incidents. In the ones where people are normally targeted, it’s very hard to close these cases out because we don’t always get victim cooperation. We don’t always get the description we need to close out a case and make an arrest.”
Camacho said “In some of these road rage cases, sometimes it is as simple as a lane change that can make someone lose it. Florida law allows people to have a weapon in their car legally so long as you are over the age of 18 and do not have a felony conviction on your record, you can legally have a weapon in your vehicle and do not have to have a concealed weapons permit.”
“That translates into a lot of people having weapons in their cars. That’s why we tell people do not get into a confrontation with aggressive drivers.”
“Do not confront aggressive behavior. Create a distance between you and the aggressive driver. Get off the highway and call 911.”
“We have a shooting about once a week involving cars being shot at,” he said.
“Most times they do not hit the victims. These shooting are extremely dangerous because you have no control over the projectile and innocent people have been hurt. People who have had nothing to do with any shooter. We had a case a few years ago of a female driver who was shot dying from her injuries.”MORE NEWS: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Giving Green Light To Budget Items
“I would hate to say there is a trend in these shootings but there seems to be a trend in criminal activity.”