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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A drive-by shooting (or drive-by or "D.B." for short) is a form of hit-and-run tactic, a personal attack carried out by an individual or individuals from a moving or momentarily stopped vehicle. 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.

The 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. [1] Nevertheless, the term "drive-by shooting" was seldom used by the American media until the early 1980s, when the Los Angeles Times used it to refer to a certain type of shooting that typically involved gang activity.




Military use

The British Special Air Service used a 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 anything and everything.

Recently drive-by shootings have been used extensively in the Iraq war, including the assassinations of Waldemar Milewicz[2] and Hatem Kamil[3].

Gang murders

Drive-by shootings have been employed by gang members since the 1920's during the Prohibition era. Then used mostly to disrupt distribution of alcohol by rivals, it is now used to commit revenge murder. Drive-bys are an efficient way of taking out rivals, as it allows the perpetrators to not only flee from the police but also quickly get out of a rival's 'turf.'

Political assassinations

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 November 17 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 70's 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.

See also


  1. ^ Lisa Jardine, The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Hand-Gun (2005).
  2. ^ BBC article about murder of Waldemar Milewicz.
  3. ^ BBC news article on Hatem Kamil's assassination.

External links

Simple English

A drive-by shooting is when a gun is fired from a moving vehicle, at a target outside the vehicle.

Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were killed after a drive-by shooting.


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