Wilmington -- A South Carolina man who opened fire on moving motorists on I-95 in North Carolina was on July 15, 2022, he was given a 240-month prison term. Possession of an unregistered short-barrel shotgun,
crossing state borders with an unregistered firearm, and carrying a restricted weapon without a license were among the charges. To all three charges, Franklin Joseph Dangerfield, 35, entered a guilty plea.
According to U.S. Attorney Michael Easley, “This defendant created terror on a major interstate by his reckless and criminal behavior of shooting at innocent people simply driving their car,” commented U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “I am grateful for the cooperation of many law enforcement agencies in bringing this crime spree to an end. We will vigorously prosecute those who use gun violence to inflict trauma and fear in our community.”
In a black pickup vehicle, Dangerfield traveled from his home in Goose Creek, South Carolina, north along I-95 into North Carolina on September 5, 2020, according to court records and other material presented in court. Still traveling north on I-95, Dangerfield started shooting into other moving automobiles as he entered Robeson County. Dangerfield struck the driver's side window with at least three distinct shots he fired at a moving car. At this point, no one inside was hurt.
Dangerfield resumed his journey north through Nash County, where he started shooting once more at numerous moving cars on I-95. While in Nash County, Dangerfield fired at ten (10) different occupied vehicles, damaging nine (9) of them. Dangerfield shot an elderly female victim in the shoulder during this rampage. To get her to Vidant Trauma Center in Greenville, North Carolina, she was airlifted. Glass shards that entered the eyes, face, back, and feet of another victim in a different car caused injuries. In Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Vidant North Hospital was visited by this victim.
Dangerfield was given a high-speed chase along I-95 by deputies from the Halifax County Sheriff's Office, Northampton County Sheriff's Office, and Nash County Sheriff's Office. Dangerfield drove in the middle of both lanes while being pursued, exceeding speeds of 110 mph, and knocking several cars off the road. The chase stopped after 37 miles when Dangerfield tried to exit at a high speed in Emporia, Virginia, struck with an embankment, hit a guardrail, and overturned. Officers from the Virginia State Police then took Dangerfield into custody. Dangerfield wasn't responding at the time. Dangerfield was taken by law police to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center to receive treatment for his wounds. Dangerfield's blood tests revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.265.
Police discovered a Savage Arms Springfield 67H 12-gauge shotgun with a 13-inch barrel, eight (12) live 12-gauge shotgun shells, and nine (9), spent 12-gauge shotgun shells inside Dangerfield's truck.
Dangerfield was taken into custody on September 9, 2020, by Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Dangerfield was indicted on three counts by a federal grand jury on September 23, 2020. The charges were Possession of an Unregistered Firearm, Transport of an Unregistered Firearm, and Transport of a Prohibited Weapon without a License.
Following the sentence being handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II, Michael Easley, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Sheriff's Offices of Nash County, Halifax County, Northampton County, and Robeson County, and it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aakash Singh.