Latest victim of New Orleans interstate shootings was 73-year-old man

Police say 25 interstate shootings this year have left seven people dead
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - More than two dozen people have been shot this year on the interstate systems passing through New Orleans, with a slain 73-year-old man the latest victim of the highway violence.

According to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office, the driver fatally shot just before 8 p.m. last Friday night (Sept. 30) on I-10 East at the Norman C. Francis Parkway overpass was William Manns, 73. He died in what was at least the 25th shooting on New Orleans’ interstates and highways so far in 2022, the NOPD said.

“People that’s not from here that I know, I say watch it on the interstate now,” Westbank resident Billy Jordan said. “You have to be very, very careful.”

Jordan, who often drives on the interstate to get to work in New Orleans East, said he’s had a couple close calls.

“One day, I was driving on the interstate, had a shooting right behind me,” he said. “Another time, I was driving and they had a shooting right ahead of me. They don’t care who they hit.”

Seven people have been killed in highway shootings this year across the city, from New Orleans East to the Seventh Ward to Mid-City.

“I don’t think we clearly had as many (shootings) on the interstate as we’ve seen these last two, three, four years,” said former NOPD Supt. Ronal Serpas.

Serpas said the brazenness of criminals has led to shootings spilling out onto the roads, putting innocent people in harm’s way.

“It’s not very likely that these are random events,” Serpas said. “There’s always room to expect a random event. But primarily, I think the evidence shows that these are people who have targeted someone else and that’s just where they happen to find them.”

NOPD has said the same in the past, blaming the shootings on road rage incidents or pre-existing feuds that have put innocent motorists in the crosshairs.

“Some of these cases are believed to be interactions between motorists that, unfortunately, escalated into incidents of road rage,” an NOPD spokesperson said. “In others, pre-existing feuds are believed to be involved and perpetrators are believed to be committing isolated crimes of opportunity against a known victim. Also, in some cases, it appears that unintended targets may have been caught in the line of fire.”

There’s a level of difficulty that comes with investigating a highway shooting, versus a shooting in a neighborhood or on a block, Serpas said.

“What makes the cases difficult is the moving nature of the interstate,” he said. “Evidence can be lost with people merely driving around the scene. So, it’s a pretty complex issue.”

In June, the NOPD said no arrests had been made in any of the first 12 interstate shootings of the year.

Now that the number has more than doubled, Fox 8 requested the updated number of interstate shootings that have been solved. A spokesperson said the NOPD was working to provide that number.

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