LAKE ELSINORE – A Wildomar man man allegedly shot a motorist in the chest as a road rage conflict erupted on the twisting Ortega Highway, a sheriff’s sergeant said today.
Michael Economides, 37, was booked Friday night for suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a firearm. He was jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, jail records show.
Economides is suspected of firing a single shot at the motorist when they both pulled over the shoulder of the highway two miles west of Grand Avenue, Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Pauling said.
The motorist and a passenger from his vehicle both approached Economides as he sat in his car moments before the gunshot rang out, Pauling said.
Economides, Pauling said, fled but was later found in a school parking lot on Grand Avenue. The alleged victim, who was not identified, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of his injury, Pauling said.
Ortega Highway, state Route 74, is a twisting, mountainous route with few passing areas and frequent long lines of heavy traffic. It is the only direct vehicular route between southwest Riverside and southern Orange counties.