The tactic of drive-by shooting originated when assailants would ride up to their targets on horseback, shoot them with wheellock pistols and then ride off before they could be apprehended. Some of the first gun control laws were developed to combat these shootings.
A 2006 study concluded that a full half of all reported drive-by shootings in the United States for that year occurred in California. 
The British military (especially the Special Air Service) used this form of drive-by shooting in its campaigns in North Africa and France during the Second World War. Columns of heavily armed jeeps, bristling with machine guns, would drive past and sometimes through enemy positions, usually airfields and supply depots, shooting at military targets.
In the Israeli—Palestinian conflict
Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military have killed Palestinian activists in drive-by shootings.
- Lisa Jardine, The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Hand-Gun (2005).
- Kirk, Arthur. "Half of Drive-by Shootings Occur in California". Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- The Phantom Major: The Story of David Sterling and the Sas Regiment by Virginia Cowles , COLLINS. (January 1, 1958) and ASIN: B001DAJWNC
- "BBC article about murder of Waldemar Milewicz". BBC News. 2004-05-07. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "article on Hatem Kamil's assassination". BBC News. 2004-11-01. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "8 Injured In Jolo Drive-by Shooting". The Mindanao Examiner. 29 January 2006. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- Joshua Ruebner, Clyde Mark, Kenneth Katzman, Alfred Prados (2001-01-05). "The Current Palestinian Uprising: Al-Aqsa Intifadah" (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Retrieved 2010-09-28.