Search Continues for Assailant Who Shot Teen in the Head While Driving on VA Highway

by Xara Aziz
Family of T'miya Murphy

A recent high school graduate was shot and killed while driving on Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County, Virginia on Tuesday, police confirmed.

According to police records, T’miya Murphy, 19, was driving on the highway when an unknown assailant pulled up alongside her and fired shots into her 2017 Kia Optima. The shooting took place shortly before 11 AM.

“Immediately following the shooting, the sedan crossed the southbound lanes of 85 and crashed on the right shoulder on I-85,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson told WTVR via email.

Murphy had just graduated from Thomas Dale High School last year, her classmates said.

“Miya was a loveable, kind-hearted, and very goofy young lady,” reads a statement on the victim’s online obituary. “She loved to dance and sing. Miya always said she was going to be ‘TikTok famous’ and she was known for her favorite word, ‘Bruh.’”

One woman who heard the gunshots Tuesday morning said it sounded like someone had fired 10 or more shots.

“[I did not hear a] car speeding off, didn’t hear a crash or anything like that,” the woman, who asked her identity be protected, told CBS 6. “Just Sirens, sirens, sirens.”

An investigation is ongoing and this story is developing.

According to Virginia State Police, a preliminary investigation found that the shooting was an isolated incident and not due to road rage.

“It’s very sad, you know, I pray for her family,” the woman who heard the gunshots said. “I pray for everyone that has to deal with these types of loss because it’s unanswered and you don’t know why.”

Investigators urges anyone with information leading to more information inside the shooting to call Virginia State Police at 804-609-5656 or #77 from a cell phone.

Tipsters can also send information to

According to the victim’s online obituary, her funeral services “will be held 11:00 A.M., Saturday, August 12, 2023, in the Chapel of J. M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, the Rev. Rashaun Hill, eulogist. The interment to follow at Wilkerson Memorial Cemetery.”

According to, “In Virginia, the rate of gun deaths increased 9% from 2010 to 2019, compared to a 17% increase nationwide. The rate of gun suicides increased 4% and gun homicides increased 20%, compared to a 13% increase and 26% increase nationwide, respectively,” adding that “in an average year, 1,019 people die and 2,050 are wounded by guns in Virginia. Virginia has the 29th-highest rate of gun violence in the US.”

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