Troopers report “dangerous trend” of rising drive-by shootings on highways

KING COUNTY, Wash. — With 23 drive-by shootings on state highways and roadways this year, Pierce County is on pace to see more than 100 by the end of 2022.

Last year, Washington State Patrol investigated a total of 31 drive-by shootings.

“It is a very, very dangerous trend that we’re observing here,” WSP Trooper Robert Reyer said. “It’s very concerning to see this trend at this point, that people feel it is OK to discharge their firearms while they are driving, or even point them at other cars that drive near them.”

Troopers in King County are also reporting a higher-than-average number of drive-by shootings. So far this year, there have been 17 drive-by shootings investigated by WSP in King County. That’s five more than the same time last year.

Reyer said almost all of the incidents in Pierce County are related to road rage.

“I don’t know if being isolated for quite some time, or not being around other people very much for the last couple of years changed people’s behaviors… (Two years ago) we still saw aggressive drivers. We still saw people speeding. We still saw people cutting others off. But I think that mostly people were more courteous to each other.”

Reyer’s suggestion for concerned drivers is to call 911.

“If there is a vehicle that you observe that is driving in an aggressive manner, you can call 911. There’s a very good chance that our troopers are somewhere along I-5 near that location,” Reyer said.