State police are casting a wide net and asking if anyone has information about a July 1 road rage shooting that injured a 16-year-old girl.
The shooting happened on Route 495 after the girl's family—they're from Maine—was cut off by a white car, thought to be a Honda Accord. After some jockying for position on the highway, the passanger in the Accord is thought to have fired shots into the family's Nissan XTerra.
Here's what state police have to say about the incident and the search for information:
State Police Renew Request for Public's Help in Road Rage Shooting
Seeking Motorists Who May Travel on Weekends
The Massachusetts State Police are continuing to investigate the road rage motivated car-to-car shooting in Merrimac that injured a 16-year-old girl on Sunday, July 1. As part of the ongoing investigation, we are again asking members of the public to contact police if they have any information.
To date, despite fairly heavy traffic on the road at that time, we have received very few leads, none of which have led to anything substantial. We are renewing the request for information today with the theory that certain motorists who may have witnessed something important may only travel that route on the weekends for vacation or recreational purposes.
The shooting occurred at approximately 12:15 p.m. on Route 495 northbound in Merrimac, near Mile Marker 115. The 16-year-old girl, who was the left rear seat passenger in a 2002 Nissan XTerra, was shot once in her upper arm. Evidence suggests she was shot through the window next to her. In the car with her at the time were her parents and younger brother. The family lives in Maine and was returning home after a conference.
Members of the family said she was shot by the passenger of a white car, believed to be a Honda Accord. The shooting followed a road rage exchange between the drivers of the suspect vehicle and of the XTerra.
The sequence of events as reported by the victim’s family follows, along with descriptions of both vehicles and the occupants of the suspect vehicle. We have also included a photo of the family’s vehicle, and a photo of a generic late model white Honda Accord (not the exact car). We hope that motorists who may have been on Route 495 in or near Merrimac around noon or shortly after on Sunday, July 1 look closely at the photos and descriptions, and the sequence of events.
- The incident began with the Maine family’s XTerra driving north on Route 495 in the town of Merrimac, near Mile Marker 115;
- The suspect’s white Accord, while in the center lane, sped up and passed the XTerra and then suddenly cut in front of it, causing the XTerra’s driver to brake hard;
- The XTerra then pulled into the center lane, sped up and passed the white Accord, and then pulled back into the left lane in front of the Accord, causing the Accord’s driver to brake suddenly.
- The XTerra then pulled back into the center lane and slowed down;
- The Accord then pulled up in the left lane, along side of the XTerra, and the passenger fired at least two shots at the XTerra, one of which struck the car, going through the left side backseat window and through the teenage girl’s arm. The Accord sped away.
- The XTerra then pulled to the right side of the road and slowed, but did not stop, as the victim’s mother called 911 and the father used a GPS system to locate a nearby hospital.
- The family made the decision to drive to a hospital themselves rather than wait for an ambulance. The GPS first directed the family to the site of the old Amesbury Hospital, which is no longer in operation. State Police from the Newbury Barracks re-directed the family to Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport. Troopers were waiting for them when they pulled into the hospital lot.
The suspect vehicle was described as a late model white Honda Accord with tinted windows, with a red, white, and blue registration plate, believed to be a Massachusetts plate. The car was clean, and had no stickers, dents, or other distinguishable marks.
The gunman, the front-seat passenger in the Accord, was described as a light-skinned African American or Hispanic man, approximately in his 20s, with short dark hair and wearing a gray t-shirt and sunglasses. The driver was described as a white, Hispanic, or light-skinned African American young woman with her hair in a “messy” bun with frosted tips and wearing large sunglasses.
Anyone who may have observed a sequence of events like that described above, or a vehicle or vehicles that look like those in the photos below, are asked to please call the State Police Barracks in Newbury at (978) 462-7478. Any information, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, may be important to us.