Deadly road rage shooting highlights Colorado's rise in aggressive driving

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 20:56:05-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A shooting in Westminster Thursday that left a boy dead and injured three other people including his mother highlights a rise in road rage incidents in Colorado.

Police say the shooting appears to have been triggered by road rage and a 23-year-old man is in custody at the Adams County jail.

Colorado state patrol tracks road rage complaints through its star CSP program. Drivers are asked to call that number to report bad or aggressive drivers.

Last month, data showed nearly 5,000 people called to report road rage and the number of complaints is up slightly from previous years.

"If you come on a ride with a state trooper, you'll hear a lot of those calls coming in," said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

Packard said something as small as cutting someone off or darting across multiple lanes of traffic could quickly spiral out of control, especially when you add in Colorado's growing congestion and traffic volumes.

"It's easier to get tense when you're not going where you want to go so anytime congestion happens it's an opportunity for conflict," said Packard.

Road rage rarely turns as violent as what happened in Westminster, but it can get tense fast.

Last month, a driver shot a man over suspected road rage near E-470 in Parker. Police are still searching for that suspect.

In February, there was another shooting in Lakewood between two drivers.

Earlier that same month, suspected aggressive driving lead to a shooting in Littleton on Santa Fe.

Packard also said enforcing reports of aggressive or reckless driving can be challenging.

"It's tough for us to charge somebody when we didn't see those actions. We can only be so many places at once at any given time," he said.