PHOENIX - In 2021, a record number of road rage shootings were reported across the country, and in Arizona, the number of incidents has more than doubled in the past four years.
According to figures, 267 incidents were reported in 2018, and in 2021, there were more than 600 reports of road rage. From January to March of 2022, law enforcement officers have reported more than 170 road rage incidents.
"From 2020 to 2021, we saw a 22% increase," said Alberto Gutier with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. "During the pandemic in 2020, less people on the road, so less incidents. People are now driving more aggressively, and reckless."
A new report by a gun-control advocacy group found that on average, 44 people a month are shot and killed in road rage shootings across the U.S.
Arrest made in latest Arizona road rage shooting
The most recent road rage shooting in Arizona happened along I-17 in Phoenix, when one driver fired a BB Gun at another car.
On April 7, officials with DPS announce they arrested a suspect in that incident.
According to investigators, 60-year-old Frank Corkum was driving north and trying to pass another vehicle when he fired a pellet gun, shattering the other car's window. According to court documents, Corkum admitted he lost his temper, and meth was also found in his car.
No one was hurt in the incident, and Corkum is now facing aggravated assault and drug possession charges.
Family of man killed in 2021 road rage shooting speaks out
Stacey Wales' brother was killed at a Chandler intersection in November 2021, after a driver filed several shots at him while at a stoplight.
"It's a series of bad choices," said Wales. "It's a series of impulsive reaction."
Wales says the tragedy has affected her own reactions on the road.
"We have absolutely, consciously said on many occasions, 'it's not worth it. Let them pass, pull over, or even just take a side street.' We didn’t intend to let that person have their emotions in their own car, and continue on their own way," said Wales.
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