A 16-year-old pregnant teenager from Maine riding in her parents’ SUV was shot in the arm in an apparent road rage incident that took place on Interstate 495 in Merrimac, Massachusetts, according to police. The victim has spent the past week vacationing with her family, and they were on their way back to Limington, Maine, at around 12:15 PM on Sunday when a passenger from another vehicle fired a shot at the girl, hitting her in her upper arm.
The 16-year-old was transported to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, where she is being treated for a non-life threatening injury, according to the Newburyport Daily News. She was reportedly conscious and alert immediately after the shooting. The girl’s name has not been released as per the police department’s protocol. Essex County state police detectives interviewed the girl’s parents, while a state police ballistics team and crime scene investigators were examining the bullet hole, which shattered the Nissan Xterra’s left back-seat vent window.
It remains unknown what was the nature of the confrontation that apparently led to the girl’s shooting. Police have launched a manhunt for the suspect in the shooting who was described as a light-skinned black or Hispanic man in his 20s with short hair wearing aviator sunglasses and a gray T-shirt. According to state police, the gunman was riding in the passenger seat of a white Honda Accord with tinted windows and a red, white and blue license plate likely indicating a Massachusetts registration. A Caucasian woman wearing sunglasses was behind the wheel of the car, which was seen speeding away north on Interstate 495 after the incident. The shooting took place mid-day on a crowded highway, with thousands of motorists seeking to reach local beaches amid the scorching heat, as well as an air show on the Seacoast.
In a statement, state police asked the public for help in identifying the suspects. “Traffic at the time of the shooting was heavy and there may be other witnesses to this crime who have not yet been identified,” the statement said.