When 17-year-old Sejah Qamoum went out for a drive with her friends early Monday morning in Mesquite, Texas, she had no idea her life was at risk.
But Qamoum became a victim of a road rage shooting, and she still has no idea why.Screenshot/Fox 4 News
Qamoum told Fox 4 News that she saw a “suspicious car” driving behind her:
“He got really behind my bumper. It was like to the point that all I could see was his hood. I didn’t see the lights. And so I slowed down and he went around slowly and he sped up.”
Without engaging the driver, Qamoum and her friends drove on.
Unable to take their original exit off the highway, the teens stayed on the same road. Qamoum’s friend Oseas Cervantes was also in the car and recalled:
“She was about to take the north [exit], but I said never mind just keep driving straight. And that’s when the car went back behind us and I guess that’s when we heard the shot and they just drove off.”
That’s when Qamoum realized that she was hit.
After she pulled off to the side of the highway, police and an ambulance arrived at the scene.Screenshot/Fox 4 News
Unfortunately, the shooter was long gone. The only details Qamoum and friends picked up about the dark-colored, four-door car was that it had a Texas license plate.
Qamoum now has two staples in her head to stitch up the bullet fragment that hit her.Screenshot/Fox 4 News
This road rage accident isn’t the first of its kind. Qamoum is lucky to have survived the bullet, as other victims have not been quite as fortunate.
In addition, a 3-year-old boy was killed in 2016 when an enraged driver missed the boy’s grandmother, who he was shooting at, apparently for driving too slow.
Another incident occurred in late 2016. A recently discharged soldier was shot and paralyzed because of reckless anger.
According to an analysis done by The Trace:
[I]ncidents categorized as road rage — broadly, where someone in a car brandished a gun in a threatening manner or fired a gun at another driver or passenger — have more than doubled in the last three years, from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016.
Over that two-year span, there were at least 1,319 road rage incidents, with approximately 354 people wounded and 136 people killed.
In Texas, under the Motorist Protection Act, it is lawful to carry handguns “loaded and within reach” in a vehicle, as long as it’s concealed.
The Trace reported that according to its data:
States with large numbers of concealed-carry permit holders, and relaxed gun laws — like Florida and Texas — experience heightened levels of road rage gun incidents.
Blogger Brandon Gaille reported the following statistic regarding road rage:
37 percent of aggressive driving incidents involve at least one firearm.
Over a 7 year period, there were over 200 murders associated directly to road rage.
44 percent of road rage is caused by someone getting cut off.
USA Carry reported on a 2002 study from Harvard University’s School of Public Health (HSPH), in which researchers Miller, Azrael, and Hemenway reported that:
Motorists with guns are more likely to act aggressively.
In a 2006 follow-up Harvard study, Hemenway, Vriniotis, and Miller reported that:
Motorists who had been in a vehicle in which there was a gun, were more likely to engage in forms of road rage.
It is impossible to know who may be carrying a concealed weapon. However, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you start to lose your cool, try to remain calm. Avoid trouble at all costs, and try to de-escalate the situation. For example, don’t make crude gestures.
For Qamoum, faith made her terrifying incident less traumatic. She told reporters:
“I just put my life in God’s hands. And I just wasn’t scared.”
She’s expected to make a full recovery.