Road rage escalates to gunfire in Centreville, suspect arrested

Road rage led to gunshots being fired last weekend, according to Fairfax County Police.

The incident happened Saturday morning in Centreville, near the intersection of Compton Road and Centreville Road. Authorities said the victim in the case passed 22-year-old Brian Ruiz’s vehicle before Ruiz began following the victim closely and ultimately fired multiple shots at the victim while still driving.

Ruiz fled onto I-66 eastbound before being taken into custody, police said. No one was hurt.

Brian Ruiz, 22, of Manassa, Virginia. Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

After being told of the incident, researchers weren’t entirely surprised.

"Somebody cuts you off, let it go," explained Sarah Burd-Sharps, the senior director of research for Everytown for Gun Safety.

The group published this article in 2023, finding that road rage shooting deaths and injuries increased every year from 2018 to 2022. Burd-Sharps said there was a slight decline in shootings in 2023.

"Over a period of five years," she added, "every year road rage shooting incidents were increasing."

Road rage escalates to gunfire in Centreville, suspect arrested. Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

As for why, Burd-Sharps said several factors could be playing a role, including increased stressors during the pandemic, a surge in gun sales, and laws making it easier for people in some jurisdictions to have guns in their cars.

"If somebody behaves rudely, makes a rude gesture at you, let it go. Don’t engage," she said. "These road rage shootings, there’s not thousands and thousands of them, but as we know from reading the newspaper, there are too many."

As a result of Saturday’s incident, authorities said Ruiz was charged with attempted malicious wounding by shooting, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle, and brandishing. He was being held without bond.