You may notice more police officers on Dallas freeways beginning Friday.
Officers will be specifically searching for drivers with road rage.
This is part of a new Dallas Police Department operation to combat the dangerous behavior that has left countless loved ones grieving, including the family of a North Dallas father Chris Murzin.
There is now a billboard along I-20 near Houston School Road in far southern Dallas where Murzin was gunned down by another driver at about 1 p.m. on February 11, 2021.
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Police believe this was a road rage shooting.
The case has gone unsolved for over four months, but the family got a glimmer of “hope” last week.
Dallas police released a surveillance image of a possible suspect driving a silver SUV, believed to be a GMC.
Christina Murzin, says finding her husband’s killer seemed like finding 'a needle in a haystack.’
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“We’ve found that needle, now we really just need in addition to all the work [police] are doing, we also are asking for the community’s help,” she said. “We really need help in solving this case.”
The Dallas police union has expressed concern with a rise in violent crime in the city, including with so-called ‘crimes of passion’ like road rage shootings.
There have been at least five road rage shootings in Dallas in the past two weeks alone, according to Assistant Deputy Chief of Police Albert Martinez.
“We are seeing an increase in road rage,” he said on Thursday.
Police now have a plan of attack, he says.
DPD will deploy 12 to 20 officers to different areas of the city, specifically targeting aggressive drivers and those speeding.
The first area of concentration will be on Friday night in North Dallas.
“We’re very much aware that we’re not making our presence known on those freeways,” acknowledged Martinez.
The plan would target different areas of the city at a time.
Operations will likely only happen once a month, in part, because of the ongoing shortage still facing the department.
“The whole goal of the operation is to actually change people’s behavior while they’re driving with also the expectation that we’re changing their behavior on how they conduct themselves,” said Martinez. “At the end of the day, why are people losing their lives over somebody’s changing the lane or going too fast?”
These are questions Murzin’s grieving family feels are now closer to being answered.
Murzin’s wife and kids say they’ve struggled with their grief but say they’ve received tremendous support from family, friends, and their community.
Caroline Murzin, 18, graduated high school and is now headed to UT Austin.
“He went to A&M and I’m going to UT, but he said he’d always wear burnt orange no matter what,” she said with a smile.
Asked what she missed most about her father, Caroline said, "Probably his smile and his humor.”
Murzin was well known in the Highland Park community and advocated for better resources for special needs children, in part because of his own special needs son, Jack.
“He didn’t care who you were or where you came from, he wanted to help you as a person,” said his daughter.
The family is pleading for drivers who travel I-20 to think back to Feb. 11.
“The day was odd,” said Murzin’s wife as she remembers.
February 11 was the same day as the deadly pileup in Fort Worth.
It was also the beginning of an historic cold snap in North Texas.
The shooting happened at about 1 p.m. along westbound L.B.J. Freeway at South Polk Street.
Murzin asks that someone call police, “If maybe someone who drives a silver GMC, like the one in the photo, came into work late or they came a little rattled or something like that.”
Family and friends will gather to hand out fliers Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the CVS at 2420 W. Wheatland Road like they did a few months ago.
“We just encourage everyone if they know something, say something,” said Caroline.
There is a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment in this case.
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The Dallas Police Department is asking for anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact Homicide Detective Tonya. McDaniel, #8890, at 214-671-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference case #025379-2021. Call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.