Tulane's Dr. Peter Scharf says the shootings may reflect a change in the way gang members go about killing rivals
As the NOPD investigates a fatal shooting early Thursday morning on the Pontchartrain Expressway, a Tulane criminologist is offering his theories on what's behind that shooting and another interstate shooting on May 6.
Dr. Peter Scharf calls the shootings "assassinations" carried out by gangs that apparently are operating under new rules when it comes to killing rivals.
"You get them wherever you can get them. If it's a second line, that's fine. If it's on a crowded or not-so-crowded interstate, you get them. But don't come back unless you kill them," Scharf said in an interview with 99.5FM.
Scharf says gang members have become more brazen in carrying out hits on rivals.
"The more outrageous the hit is, the more social prestige points you get from the gang," Scharf explained.
Scharf says to some gang members, killing a rival could be an initiation rite or a rite of passage.