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Driver Hospitalized In Turnpike Shooting: Troubling Trend Is An "Epidemic' Says Criminologist

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The search is on for the gunman who opened fire on the Florida Turnpike over the  weekend which sent one man to the hospital. The shooting is part of a troubling trend we have been seeing on South Florida roads.

In November, there were six different road rage shootings and about 12 since June.  The latest happened on Saturday in Miami Gardens.

The driver of a Hyundai SUV was shot at by the passenger of another vehicle in the southbound lanes just north of NW 199 Street.

The victim was in a black 2022 Genesis GV70. After being s hot, he continued traveling south, then lost control and hit a guardrail on the right shoulder of the roadway.

Police say he suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his face, arm and thigh and was transported to Ryder Trauma Center in critical but stable condition.

There were multiple casings recovered on the scene, said police.

Dr. Debbie Goodman, Criminologist Professor at St. Thomas University said there is a trend.

"I would classify it as an epidemic with higher levels of criminology. These are crimes such as attempted murder, vehicular homicide, and the unlawful use of weapons," said Dr. Goodman.

According to FHP, during its Operation Safe Highways initiative which ran from Nov. 19 through Dec. 16, there were 24 drug arrests, 58 misdemeanor arrests, and 17 felony arrests in Miami-Dade and Broward County.

"We are seeing this trend that is with purpose, with intent. Let's be clear here on the data analytics, road rage as we know it to be is our third leading cause of death when we talk about car related fatalities," said Dr. Goodman.

Dr. Goodman said while law enforcement has been present on the roads, one solution is that people need to be punished with the criminal system. However, she stressed people driving should be alert.

"It is worrisome because for those of us who drive and that is thousands of us, if and when a driver has sense that there is wrongdoing, call 911," said Dr. Goodman.

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