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Two people shot on I-95 near Colonial Heights — the fourth local interstate shooting in eight weeks
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Two people shot on I-95 near Colonial Heights — the fourth local interstate shooting in eight weeks

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Virginia State Police

Virginia State Police

From 2015 to 2016, murder and non-negligent manslaughter rates in the United States went up 8.4%, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Here is a look at the cities with the highest murder rates in the country.

Two occupants of an SUV were shot Tuesday night while traveling on Interstate 95 near Colonial Heights — the fourth interstate shooting in eight weeks in the Chesterfield County/Tri-Cities region.

The three most recent shootings occurred on I-95. The first occurred on an Interstate 85 exit ramp in Petersburg and resulted in one death. Arrests have been made in the first two cases.

In Tuesday’s incident, state police said troopers responded at about 7:53 p.m. to a report of a shooting on I-95 about a half-mile north of Temple Avenue.

Upon arrival, the officers determined that two people were traveling north on I-95 in a Kia Sportage when someone in another vehicle, traveling north in the left lane, fired multiple shots at the Sportage at the 55 mile marker, state police Sgt. Dylan Davenport said in a release.

The driver, who suffered life-threatening gunshot wounds, was able to pull over onto the right shoulder. The passenger was seriously wounded. Both were taken to a local hospital.

Less than three weeks ago, on March 11, the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck was traveling on I-95 just south of the state Route 10 exit when someone in a dark-colored sedan with dark tinted windows opened fire, striking the truck twice at the 60 mile marker, police said.

The driver was able to safely pull over onto the right shoulder. Neither the driver nor the two occupants were shot. Investigators discovered two bullet holes in the truck.

Another shooting occurred on Feb. 26 as the driver of a Kia was traveling on I-95 at the 61 mile marker in Chesterfield. The driver, a 29-year-old woman, was shot multiple times about 9:45 p.m. by the driver in a gray Honda traveling north, state police said. The shooting caused the victim to run off the interstate to the right and strike a guardrail. She was the sole occupant.

An investigation led police to arrest Darius Smith, 29, of Chester, and charge him with malicious wounding, felony use of a firearm and shooting while in a moving vehicle. Police said there was no indication that Smith knew the victim prior to the shooting.

The first shooting in the string of four incidents occurred on Feb. 3, when a man and woman were shot on an Interstate 85 exit ramp in Petersburg after they gave a ride to two men from a convenience store in Colonial Heights. The driver, Kenneth Michael Golding, 41, of Richmond, was killed. His passenger was also shot but survived.

Police said the couple picked up the men after meeting them at a convenience store in the 600 block of Boulevard in Colonial Heights. As they were leaving I-85 at the Squirrel Level Road exit at about 1 a.m., the two men, sitting in the back seat, opened fire on the couple in their Nissan Sentra. The vehicle crashed and the men fled.

Several weeks later, police arrested Marquis D. Coleman Jr., 24, of Prince George County, and Enoch E. Brown, 21, of Petersburg. Coleman was charged with second-degree murder and being an accessory to assault/malicious wounding. Brown was charged with second-degree murder, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and being an accessory to assault/malicious wounding.

Virginia State Police urged anyone with information to call them at (804) 609-5656 or send an email to questions@vsp.virginia.gov

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