EXCLUSIVE: Former Master Chef contestant says shots fired towards her Hattiesburg family
NEW ORLEANS, LA. - Last season's Hattiesburg Master Chef contestant, Katie Dixon said shots were fired towards herself and family Tuesday while driving home from the New Orleans Airport.
The Dixon's spent a family vacation in Switzerland and were traveling back to Hattiesburg. She said the incident occurred on Interstate 10 East near the high rise bridge during Tropical Depression Cindy.
“Out of nowhere we start to hydroplane and in the middle of the hydroplane, we think the car next to us, has bumped into us, because we heard two really loud noises.”
The two loud noises were not the sound of a car accident said Dixon. “It didn’t feel really like anything, we just heard something, we didn’t know if we bumped into them or to the side or what exactly happened.”
Instead the noise came from two bullets that were shot at Katie's passenger door, barely missing her two daughters, husband, and herself.
The family originally stopped on the high rise, but Katie said it was unsafe and the other vehicle they thought they hit drove off.
Katie and her husband drove towards Slidell, took the first exit, and examined the car at the local Starbucks.
She said, “You know, the life of my children flashed before my eyes, and life is just so short sometimes.”
"I mean I just didn't know what to think. Wanting my girls to see a world of opportunity, and love for life, of the trip that we had been on, all of a sudden was taken from my 11-year-old" Dixon said.
Katie and her husband tried to call New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), but her family had international sim cards and was unable to dial local 911.
The family's United States sim cards were inside a bag which was left in Portugal. Katie and her husband decided to follow-up with NOPD when they arrived back to Hattiesburg.
Dixon said this is not the first time shots were fired on the same interstate. According to Dixon others informed her this has happened several times before.
“Its crazy to me that this has happened 20 times, and we are not aware of it. We make trips to new Orleans all the time" said Dixon.
She is currently working with NOPD via phone from Hattiesburg. Dixon plans to travel back, file a claim, and work with an investigator Friday.
"I have to drive back to New Orleans and I do not feel safe doing that, but I am going to get in my car and drive back down there because it is not okay what happened."
The family's car is currently at an auto shop and is not safe to drive according to Dixon. "One bullet they found they already extracted from the car and I have that to bring with me to New Orleans."
"The investigator wanted me to bring that with me, but at this time they are not even acting as if its a case because I have not even been to New Orleans."
She said, “They have given me the run around a lot." "I actually got someone on the phone today who was nice to me, and told me of a safer location that I can go and give my file to and a detective will work with me.”
Katie wants drivers to be careful while driving on I-10. She hopes NOPD can put a stop to claims of open fire shooting on I-10.
“They have got to take a stand for what is right, it does not have to be swept under the rug, this is a real thing, and it is happening.”
The shooting occurred on her youngest daughter's 6th birthday.
Dixon said, "The fear that I had in my own heart, but also that my children will never be the same, that their eyes were opened about how cruel this world can be."