Jun 5, 2024 - News

Road rage shootings are rising in Oregon

Line chart showing the rate of road rage shooting incidents in Oregon and the U.S. from 2013 to 2023. Nationally, road rage shootings have increased from 0.3 to 1.4 incidents per million people. In Oregon, that number has increased from 0 to 0.7 per million people.
Data: The Trace via Gun Violence Archive; Map: Axios Visuals

Road rage shootings have increased in Oregon over the past decade but are still well below the national average, a new report finds.

Why it matters: Nationally, road rage shooting incidents skyrocketed over the past decade, from 83 in 2014 to 456 in 2023 — a nearly 450% jump, according to an analysis of Gun Violence Archive data by The Trace.

  • Road rage shootings in Oregon went from zero in 2014 to 0.7 people per 1 million in 2023: the national average is 1.4.

Zoom out: The country's road rage hot spots were New Mexico, with 2.65 shooting incidents per 1 million people, followed by Wisconsin (1.94) and Tennessee (1.91).

Zoom in: Oregon has experienced some high-profile road rage shootings in recent years.

In March, Geoffrey Edward Hammond pleaded not guilty to charges of fatally shooting Ryan Martin, 47, after arguing about parking in front of the Moxy Hotel.

  • Prosecutors accuse Hammond of also wounding a passing architect, Samuel Gomez, whose photo of being pointed at with a gun later won an award. Hammond pleaded not guilty to that too.

In May, a 25-year-old man pleaded guilty except for insanity to second-degree murder for killing a Tigard man two years ago after a dispute on Highway 18.

  • The slain driver's partner said their wiper fluid may have splashed a BMW driving behind them, starting a chain of events that led to the shooting.

Caveat: The Gun Violence Archive is a private nonprofit that produces a range of estimates based on police reports, government data, news stories and more.

  • Some incidents go unreported, so the data is likely an undercount.
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