JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — A Columbus man is facing criminal charges accused of shooting at a fellow driver in Johnson County.
The incident near U.S. 31, just south of Franklin, marks the third time in the last four days a driver has been charged with criminal recklessness in central Indiana for shooting at or threatening to shoot another driver.
The shooting in Johnson County took place near the intersection of US 31 and East 400 South. Prosecutors claim a woman was cut off by a fellow driver and ambushed by gunfire.
“The person actually pulled in front of them, which caused them to stop, and then fired shots at them,” said Johnson County sheriff chief deputy Andy Barnhart.
This week law enforcement arrested 18-year-old Kaden Marsh for that shooting.
Although the exact cause of the shooting remains under investigation and was initially thought to be road rage related, the incident may have been partially caused by mistaken identity. The victim’s friend told the victim that her boyfriend’s brother is in an ongoing dispute with Marsh and drives a similar vehicle.
Whatever the reason, chief deputy Andy Barnhart says his office has seen an increase in violent behavior on the roads in recent years.
“For whatever reason, people seem to let these get out of hand more than they used to and we’re seeing more incidents,” said Barnhart.
This week in Marion County Charles Kuhn was charged with pointing a gun at a 17-year-old boy.
Prosecutors claim the 60-year-old suspect yanked open the teen’s door and threatened him with a gun near County Line road after the victim threw a water bottle out of his car window.
The teen was able to capture cell phone video of the man that showed him holding a black handgun while yelling obscenities and IMPD shared an image from the footage publicly.
“It’s just not safe for people to take matters into their own hands and get upset and display weapons or brandish weapons,” said IMPD officer Samone Burris.
That warning didn’t stop another shooting this week in Fishers.
Police claim 23-year-old Avione Johnson fired two shots at a driver following a road rage incident near 106th street and I-69.
Officers reported finding damage to the pickup truck and said the victim suffered from minor injuries caused by shrapnel.
Some hope the three cases send a clear message to drivers.
“I wish people would let things roll off their back. Don’t take things so personally. Mistakes are going to happen and you have to have some grace when driving down the road,” said Barnhart.
Neither IMPD or the Johnson County sheriff specifically tracks the number of road rage incidents, but last year Indiana State Police did report a drastic increase of road rage shootings on local interstates.