Automated License Plate Reader Helps Find Alleged Road Rage Shooter

A South Philadelphia delivery man has been arrested for allegedly shooting at a car carrying two women and an infant along a busy Center City street in an apparent road rage incident.

Police nabbed 31-year-old Ali Shaffiat Tuesday afternoon after automatic license plate readers, attached to police cruisers, found the red Mitsubishi Eclipse believed to be involved in the shooting located along the 800 block of Fernon Street in South Philadelphia.

After the automated reader found a match, officials sent detectives to the neighborhood to investigate. They found the car, but the license plate had been removed, police said.

Detectives then searched the area and found Shaffiat inside a home around the corner along the 1600 block of South 7th Street. Police say the man was then arrested and later charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

PHOTO: Ali Shaffiat, 31, has been charged with Aggravated Assault and related offenses for allegedly shooting at two women and an infant in an apparent road rage incident. (Credit: Philadelphia Police)

According to investigators, the man told police he was delivering food from an online food delivery company around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday when, for reasons not yet revealed, he went into a rage. He then allegedly began to follow Nicole Payne, who was driving in Center City with her sister and four-month-old niece.

"I was scared," Payne said.

The suspect allegedly followed the women and baby for 10 blocks across the city. Police say he then took out a BB gun and opened fire on the women's car near Broad and Lombard Streets in Center City.

The bullets shattered the victim's back window and hit the passenger side mirror. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

"As soon as I turned around, I could see a gun pointing," Payne's 20-year-old sister told on Monday. "I didn't get a chance to say 'duck.' I didn't get a chance to say anything."

Police say surveillance video captured the suspect's vehicle which helped them track him down on Tuesday. Shaffait is set to be arraigned Wednesday morning.

After being interviewed again by detectives, Payne says she's ready to put the frightening incident behind her.

"I don't really want to know anything at this point," Payne said. "I'm here. That's all that really matters."

PHOTO: Police say this is the car a suspect was driving when he committed a road rage shooting on Saturday.

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