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Woman shot driving on I-95 says she does not know suspect, has no idea why she was targeted

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Posted at 6:02 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 18:31:08-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A woman was shot multiple times while driving on Interstate 95 in Chesterfield County on Thursday, according to Virginia State Police.

The 29-year-old was driving a silver Kia near mile-marker 61 when she was shot by someone driving a gray Honda around 9:45 p.m., troopers said.

After she was shot, the woman ran off the interstate to the right and struck a guardrail. She was the only person in her car.

State Police said the woman was taken to a hospital for treatment, but they did not give an update on her condition at this time.

Darius Smith, 29, of Chesterfield County was arrested in relation to the incident and charged with malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and shooting while in a moving vehicle.

In Chesterfield General District Court Friday morning he was denied bond.

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Darius Smith of Chester, Va

State Police said there is no indication that the suspect and the victim knew each other before the shooting.

CBS 6 spoke to the victim by phone on Friday.

She said a driver, who was unprovoked, began tailgating her at a high-rate of speed and she attempted to get away. As she moved into the farthest-right lane she pulled behind a truck that was traveling slowly.

The victim explained that was the moment the driver pulled beside her and fired multiple times at her car. She then crashed into a guardrail and called 911.

The woman said she doesn't know why she was being followed. She thanked God that she was alive and said it's a miracle her injuries weren't deadly.

CBS 6 stopped by the address of the suspect's home that's listed on court documents. There were cars in the driveway, but no on answered the door Friday afternoon.

Smith was due back in court on March 29.

Legal Analyst Todd Stone, a former prosecutor, said physical evidence will be crucial in order to prove the case.

"As long as they have the vehicle that they think was the suspected vehicle they can do a gun shot residue test," Stone explained.

VSP would not say how they were able to catch up with the suspect about six miles away from Interstate 95. Police have not released a possible motive.

"Just having a shot fired from one car to another with people who dont know each other -- the first thing you think is road rage. But if it’s not that then what’s the motive? Why?" Stone asked.

The investigation is ongoing.