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Mother shot on I-95 'angry' after second interstate shooting: 'It's crazy'

Feb. 25 victim: 'My car was shot up more than 12 times. He was trying to kill me.'
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Posted at 6:55 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 19:06:49-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- For the second time in two weeks, Virginia State Police are investigating an apparently random shooting on Interstate 95 in Chesterfield County.

Troopers said someone opened fire on a pickup truck heading south in Chesterfield just south of Route 10 Thursday night.

That is the same area two weeks ago where a mother was driving when she was shot seven times headed north at the same mile marker.

"I'm still in pain, of course, but I'm feeling great,” the 27-year-old woman said. “I'm here, alive and breathing. I can walk, I can talk so I'm feeling great in that area, but mentally it's still hard."

The woman, who spoke with Crime Insider Jon Burkett on the condition of anonymity, is traumatized this has happened again

"Like it's crazy,” she said. “I can't even put it into words. It makes me angry, sad. It makes me fearful that people are out there doing something like that. I don't know if it's gang-related, copycat or people are just flat out crazy."

The woman was shot seven times on Feb. 25 while driving north on I-95 near mile marker 60.

After she was shot, she ran off the interstate to the right and struck a guardrail.

Chesterfield Police later arrested and charged Darius Smith, 29, with malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and shooting while in a moving vehicle.

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Darius Smith

Then Thursday around 8:10 p.m., at almost the exact location, troopers said a sedan with dark windows pulled alongside a pickup truck and opened fire.

One bullet penetrated the truck, but the three people inside were not injured.

State police said the crime also appears to be random.

Retired Chesterfield Police Capt. Steve Neal said it is important to act quickly in a situation like this. .

"I would start looking for an avenue of escape, whether it means getting off at an exit, whether that means increasing speed or doing something that garners attention," Neal said.

And that is exactly what the victim said she tried to do. She believes it helped police locate the suspect quickly after she was shot.

“In my case, the person didn't stop shooting until the gun was empty,” she explained. “That's what I believe because my car was shot up more than 12 times. He was trying to kill me. Luckily, the people last night weren't hit. It could've been three dead, you know. What is going on in people's minds that they need to kill someone?"

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Victim's car shot on I-95 Feb. 25, 2021.

The woman said that normally her three-year-old son would have been riding in the back seat, which is where most of the bullets ended up.

Thankfully, the child was at his grandfather's house.

The woman said she is on the road to recovery. A GoFundMe account has been established to help her pay for another car after hers was totaled.

Anyone with information about either of the cases is asked to call Virginia State Police at 804-609-5656 or email them at questions@vsp.virginia.gov.