Police working to assuage public fears after third shooting on I-270 in north St. Louis County

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – There are heightened safety concerns after a third car-to-car shooting on Interstate 270 in north St. Louis County in the span of about a month.

People are taking other routes out of fear of gunfire. St. Louis County police want the suspects to know the kind of trouble they face: a lot more than for other types of shootings.

A man, 40, was shot while driving eastbound on I-270 between Lilac and Riverview around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to police. The suspect pulled alongside him, began shooting, and then continued eastbound. The victim lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a cable median after being shot in the upper body, police said. Fortunately, no other cars were hit. The shooter was lucky it was not a homicide with unintended targets, police sad.

The victim is expected to survive. The suspect vehicle is a Pontiac. That’s it for a description.

Less than five weeks ago (December 13) there was a homicide scene after another car-to-car shooting on I-270 in Hazelwood, just west of Wednesday night’s scene. Two teenage suspects are charged with murder in that case.

Two weeks later on December 27, two men and a woman in their late teens to early 20s were shot on that same stretch of I-270 in Hazelwood. They also survived. There’s been no arrest in that case.

Dozens of shots have been fired in the three incidents. Given the great risk of harm to other drivers from gunfire and wounded drivers crashing, the penalties for shooting from a moving vehicle are more severe under Missouri Revised Statutes, 571.030: an automatic maximum class B felony sentence (15 years in prison) if no one is injured; an automatic a class A felony sentence (up to 30 years in prison) if someone is hit by a bullet or otherwise injured.

At present, the Missouri State Highway Patrol currently has no plans for special enforcement action on I-270 but there will be increased visibility and vigilance, a spokesman said.

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