Springfield Police Department says 2 road rage incidents in last month led to shootouts

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 8:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Road rage incidents are grabbing the attention of the Springfield Police Department.

One of those incidents happened Monday night near the Braum’s on West Sunshine and led to a shootout. Another incident happened on Kearney within the last two weeks. It led to shots fired between cars.

Lt. Nelson Kibby with the Springfield Police Department says the department gets calls about road rage incidents every week.

However, not all of them escalate to that level.

“They brake-check somebody or something of that nature, and it just develops from there,” Lt. Kibby says. “The person that’s offended wants to get back.”

Lt. Kibby says people need to consider that others may have deadly weapons in their cars.

“It’s not just a matter of civility where you roll down your window and say hello, sir you, cut me off in traffic,” Lt. Kibby says. “That’s not how it works anymore. Everybody gets mad. Everybody wants to get back at each other.”

Emily Willis says if people are driving recklessly, she tries to avoid them. Willis says if she thinks they’re angry, that’s when she turns and takes a different route.

“I try not to make eye contact with anybody when I stop at stoplights just because you never know,” Willis says. “It makes me nervous that I could look at the wrong person at the wrong time, and something could happen.”

Willis tries to be an extra cautious driver, especially after an incident where she says people rolled down their windows and yelled to try to get her attention while on the road.

“I just turned,” Willis says. “As soon as I had the opportunity to turn, I just turned because I was like, I don’t know you. I don’t know if you have a weapon in your car. I don’t know how this could escalate or if you’ll follow me home.”

If a road rage incident happens, Lt. Kibby says don’t escalate the situation. You shouldn’t follow the car, and if you’re a bystander, don’t get involved.

That’s what happened nearly two weeks ago on Kearney when a man tried to get involved in a dispute, leading to them shooting at each other.

“Remember there are consequences for your actions,” Lt. Kibby says. “If you get involved in this, and they have a weapon like that was on Kearney, we’re going to have a shootout pretty quick here.”

Lt. Kibby is urging people to call 911 and let the police handle it if they see a road rage incident. To help, Lt. Kibby suggests writing down the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle, and a description of the driver to give to officers.

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