CHP: Higher Than Usual Freeway Shootings in Southern California
Photo by Xan Griffin via Unsplash
Over the past month, there have been more than 100 vehicles in California damaged from BB gun attacks and other automatic weapons from Cerritos to Riverside.
Suspect Jesse Leal Rodriguez, 34, was charged on May 28 with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder for a similar shooting involving a BB gun in Norco; police suspect his involvement in many other shootings in the area as well as Freeway 605 and Freeway 15. Furthermore, no new BB gun shootings have been reported in these areas since Rodriguez’s arrest on May 25.
However, guns have still terrorized the freeway and highway after Rodriguez’s arrest. Three shootings occurred on the freeway on Saturday, June 5. One victim was injured and transported to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. There were no injuries in the other shootings, however, there was a crash caused by the ordeal.
So far, the shootings have left windshields and windows shattered, and at least one person with minor injuries. (Dan Olivas – California Highway Patrol Officer).
Another driver affected by one of the shootings compared her back windshield breaking to an explosion.
Patrol officers are worried these shootings can lead to worse accidents if the driver loses control of their vehicle.
Road rage is less likely to be considered the cause due to the shootings occurring early in the morning, so they are less likely random road rage incidents, and a motive is still being searched for.
According to the victim’s report, when the attacks happen, traffic continues as if nothing happened.
To continue the busy morning ritual of the usual morning commute to work, many victims continue to drive before reporting the incident to the police. The victim told officials she was attacked in Corona but didn’t call the police until she reached Anaheim, the same city that suspect Jesse Rodriguez resides.
The police and highway patrol urges future victims to call local authorities immediately after the attacks and notify passer-byers of the affected areas to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
Rodriguez asserts his innocence, stating he was at an auto parts store in Temecula almost an hour away from Norco at the time of the crime. Furthermore, Rodriguez claims there were no witnesses to his alleged attack..
Rodriguez also maintains his innocence when questioned about a shooting on Freeway 55 that killed a 6-year-old boy.
Rodriguez’s car matched that of one seen at the crime scene in Norco, and in his vehicle was “a BB gun, BBs, and other undisclosed evidence” according to Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Rodriguez states he confiscated the BB gun found in his vehicle from his teenage stepson.
Further expected charges to soon be filed include felony vandalism and negligent discharge of a firearm, according to Highway Patrol Investigator Steven Cuevas.
The similarities are incriminating, according to Cuevas. He has the BB gun, his car matches the one at the scene of the crime, and there are around 100 other cases of the same crime stated Cuevas. Cuevas is adamant that Rodriguez is responsible for at least six other shootings in that area.
Further, Rodriguez was apprehended at the latest attack site when a car resembling his and shots were reported from a motorist.
Scriberr News reached out to California’s Highway Patrol but did not hear back by the press deadline.