A drive-by shooting (or drive-by) is a form of hit-and-run tactic, a personal attack carried out by an individual or individuals from a moving vehicle, often without use of headlights to avoid being noticed. It often results in bystanders being shot instead of, or as well as, the intended target. The objective is to overwhelm the target by a sudden, massive amount of firepower without attention to accuracy. Two of the most famous drive-by shootings were the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur on September 7, 1996 (although Tupac died on September 13, 1996), and The Notorious B.I.G. on March 9, 1997.
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.
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 United States, drive-by shootings have been used in organized crime since the Prohibition era of the 1920s. Originally used mostly to disrupt distribution of alcohol by rivals, they are now used to commit revenge killings. Drive-bys can be an efficient means of taking out rivals, as they allow the perpetrators to not only flee from the police but also escape rival territory quickly. Probably the most famous gangland drive-by-shooting happened when members of the North Side Gang attempted to shoot Al Capone at a coffee shop in September 1926, less than a month before the assassination of North Side leader Earl "Hymie" Weiss.
Drive-by assassinations of political leaders have been common in some regions and eras. It was one of the tactics used by groups such as the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades and November 17. The 2000 assassination of Brigadier Stephen Saunders was carried out by assassins on motorcycle who approached the vehicle while it was stopped at a traffic light and shot him dead before speeding off.
For a time in the 1970s, the German special operations unit GSG 9 trained some of its operators in the "art" of the drive-by shooting so as to be able to better protect those in its charge.
In the Israeli—Palestinian conflict
Palestinian militants have conducted drive-by shootings, examples include the Killing of Rabbi Meir Hai, the August 2010 West Bank shooting, the September 2010 West Bank shooting and other incidents during 2010.
Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military have killed Palestinian activists in drive-by shootings.
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