A drive-by shooting is a type of assault that usually involves the perpetrator firing a weapon from within a motor vehicle and then fleeing. Drive-by shootings allow the perpetrator(s) to quickly strike their target and flee the scene before law enforcement is able to respond.
The invention of drive by shooting is attributed to Nestor Makhno, commander of the Revolutionary Insurrection Army of Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century. He combined horse and carriage with a machine gun in order to quickly assault targets and get away before they could properly react.
Motorcycle ride-by killings were a common form of murder used by drug lord Griselda Blanco during her years controlling the Miami cocaine trade routes in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Blanco herself died by this method after having been shot twice in the head by a motorcyclist in a drive-by shooting in Medellín, Colombia. Drive-by shootings are also included in the Ku Klux Klan's modus operandi.
Such shootings are associated with gang violence in urban areas of the United States but also occur in other contexts and other countries. The tactic is also called simply a "drive-by". The primary motivations for a gang-involved drive-by include intimidation, terrorization, and assassination of rival street gang members. Numerous hip hop artists have been targeted in drive-bys; prominent rappers who were killed in such incidents include Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Big L, Smoke Dawg, and Mac Dre.
In 2015, however, Jorja Leap, an UCLA anthropologist studying gang culture, pointed out how drive-by shooting tactics are being replaced by the "walk-up shooting" method, because murders have become more targeted and while driving there's low accuracy in aiming.
In Italy the circulation of firearms is low, and just over a million civilians own a firearm license, so face-to-face shooting or threats with firearms are rare. Drive-by shooting is then common especially in professional criminal context as the statistical incidence says that almost all assaults with firearms are carried out with a running car or moped—this kind of vehicle is used for reasons of better mobility in the narrow city districts. As a matter of fact from the 1970s into the 21st century, the Camorra have been known for performing drive-by shootings during clan or gang wars, or to execute targeted murders.
One of the most striking episodes of drive-by shooting and terrorism, in Italy, was the 2018 Macerata attack, conducted against 6 African people by an Italian far-right member, Luca Traini, using an Alfa Romeo 147 which however failed and caused no deaths.
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Rapper Tupac Shakur died yesterday from wounds suffered in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting, becoming a casualty of the kind of bullet-sprayed urban violence captured in his lyrics.
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