What’s fueling metro Atlanta’s interstate shootings? Clinical psychologist weighs in

EAST POINT, Ga. — A metro Atlanta man became the latest victim in the recent spike in shootings on the interstate.

Since the beginning of this year, gunfire has killed more than a dozen people and injured dozens more on metro Atlanta roadways and interstates.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden spoke to a man who said he was shot at over the weekend. The victim said he is speaking out because he wants drivers to think twice before turning to violence.

Musician Blake Parris of Young Antiques said he’s excited about hitting the road again, playing in front of a crowd, especially after spending the last year trapped inside his home recording studio.

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“Getting very busy already and it feels good,” Parris said.

But over the weekend, the East Point resident was forced to call 911 after he said he became the victim of an attempted road rage shooting.

“It happened so fast, and I panicked,” Parris said. “I just remember ducking my head down and hitting the gas!”

Parris sent Channel 2 Action News dash cam video showing the incident that led to the gunfire. In the video, he attempts to get on the ramp to Langford Parkway. That’s when the driver in front of him slams on their brakes.

“It appeared the passenger was arguing with the driver,” Parris said. “I lay down on my horn at the same time.” “I just put my hands up like ‘what’s going on?’ Get out of the way!’” Parris said.

The passenger is seen getting out of the car, and then begins shouting at Parris. Eventually the driver and passenger speed away.

“I preceded onto parkway and that’s when I heard the gunshots,” Parris said. “I looked in the rear-view mirror and he was hanging out the side of the car firing shots at me!”

Somehow the bullets missed Parris and his vehicle.

“From what I remember, it was like four or five gunshots,” Parris said.

But investigators said road rage incidents involving guns have become a growing problem in metro Atlanta.

In fact, since January, we have reported on at least 30 shootings that have taken place on roadways. So far, 13 people have died and dozens more have been injured.

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What is fueling all of this anger? Channel 2 took that question to a clinical psychologist who said it’s important for people to stay calm and to have compassion for those drivers in a rage.

“These are not people who have gone off every time someone has cut them off,” said Dr. Rebecca Johnson Osei. “It’s that a number of circumstances have collided to create this perfect storm.”

Seiden said he’s been in close contact with the East Point Police Department but so far they have not made any arrests. Authorities said it is an ongoing investigation.

Investigators said if you recognize that vehicle or have any information that could help investigators, you’re asked to call East Point detectives at 404-761-2177.

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