Tennessee woman fired gun at SUV carrying family of 6, authorities say

A Tennessee woman has been arrested and charged in Missouri for firing a gun at an SUV with four children inside, police say.

Shanyka K. Fouche, 22, of Memphis, Tennessee, was charged Saturday near St. Louis with first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon — shooting from a motor vehicle resulting in injury, two counts of armed criminal action, attempted assault, and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The shooting, which happened Friday on Interstate 55, occurred as Fouche’s car passed a Nissan Pathfinder driven by a 31-year-old woman and occupied by another man and four children. Fouche was accompanied by her 2-year-old child, according to police. 

Fouche fired three shots from a handgun at the Pathfinder, one of the bullets going through a door and striking the man in the hip. His injuries are not considered life-threatening, said police. 

According to KTVI, one of the couple’s four children, an 11-year-old boy, proved to be a key witness.

“As he was getting shot at, he thinks enough to look at the license plate and memorizes the license plate of the car, which enabled us to use On Star,” said Pevely Police Chief Alan Eickhoff, KTVI reported. “He is actually the hero of this incident.”

Hours later, police were able to apprehend Fouche, reported the Post-Dispatch, and arrest her and the driver. She is currently being held in Jefferson County Jail without bond. 

The shooting comes on the heels of the suspected road-rage killing of a 6-year-old boy in Southern California that gained national attention. 

Aiden Leos was sitting in the backseat of his mother’s car as she drove him to kindergarten when another driver shot him on May 21, authorities said. Aiden was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

According to accounts from the mother and witnesses who stopped to help her, another car cut her off, she responded with a hand gesture and the car slipped in behind her and someone inside fired a shot through the rear of her car.

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Both shootings follow several recent road rage incidents around the country. 

Last month, a man was shot and injured in Indiana in what appeared to follow a road rage incident in front of a hotel, South Bend police said. Both the suspect and the victim reportedly got into an argument, then pulled into a parking lot where the suspect shot the victim, according to the South Bend Tribune. 

In April, a road rage incident in eastern Missouri ended in two drivers shooting at one another on an interstate ramp, with one being injured by flying glass from a shattered window and the other driver being arrested, police said.

And in December, a 26-year-old Nashville nurse was fatally shot in an apparent road rage incident, Metro Nashville police said. The only possible motive offered by witnesses and investigators was that the victim might have cut off the men while all of them traveled on the interstate.

Road rage has been on the rise for nearly a decade. Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger or aggression behind the wheel in 2019, according to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association.

Though road rage incidents are unpredictable, there are ways you can prevent them. Defensive Driving School recommends that “even if you’ve been subjected to rude or aggressive driving behaviors, it’s important that you don’t respond in kind.” 

And AAA suggests that you shouldn’t respond to “aggression with aggression” and to call 911 if you feel threatened.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

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