CHP investigates rash of freeway shootings


RIVERSIDE  – California Highway Patrol officers today asked for the public’s help developing leads on a rash of freeway attacks in which vehicle windows have been shattered throughout the Southland since last month.
“What we’re asking from the public is victims of this immediately call 911 and give us their exact location and time and description — even if it’s just a description of the vehicles around them,” CHP Officer Florentino Olivera said.
Many victims have waited to call authorities, so it is much more difficult to use cameras on the freeways to narrow in on potential suspect vehicles, Olivera said.
“If we keep seeing the same vehicle around the same location we’ll narrow it down,” he said.
If a vehicle window is shattered, drivers are advised to pull over where it is safe or go to the nearest exit and pull over to call 911, Olivera said.
Authorities are unsure if some of the incidents are due to gravel being kicked up by a big-rig truck or if there is a suspect or multiple suspects shooting at vehicles with a pellet gun.
The  most recent incident was reported about 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Riverside (91) Freeway and 241 toll road in the Anaheim Hills area, Olivera said.
On Monday at about 6:30 p.m., there was another incident at the 91 and Orange (57) Freeway in Anaheim, he said. No one was injured in either incident, Olivera said.
At about 9 a.m. Friday, a CHP officer’s cruiser sustained a damaged window on the eastbound 91 at the 241, Olivera said.
“An officer was finishing up an enforcement stop and completing notes on the citation when he heard a noise and the back window was shattered.
There were big rigs going by at the same time,” so it might have been a rock that caused the damage, Olivera said. “We’re not sure what shattered the window.”
Similar incidents have been reported in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties dating back to last month, Olivera said. Many have been in the Westminster area.
Two other incidents happened just before 7 a.m. Thursday on the westbound 91 Freeway near Norwalk Boulevard, and Wednesday night on the 91 Freeway in Cerritos.
Last Tuesday, windows on two vehicles traveling along the eastbound 91 Freeway were blasted by pellet or BB gun fire.
The CHP received a call of shots fired at about 5:50 p.m. on May 11 east of Lincoln Avenue and responding officers located the victim, who was driving a white GMC Safari van that had its middle left side window shattered, according to Officer Juan Quintero.
A preliminary investigation determined the weapon used was a pellet or BB gun, based on the damage, Quintero said.
A second incident occurred about 6 p.m. east of Tyler Avenue when the driver of a white Jeep Wrangler reported hearing a pop, followed by a window shattering. Officers inspected the vehicle and discovered the Jeep’s left side, third row window was shattered, Quintero said.
No injuries were reported in either incident and no suspect information was available, he said.
And windows on three vehicles traveling on the westbound 91 Freeway in Corona on Tuesday morning were damaged by one or more individuals using pellet or BB guns.
The first attack occurred about 5 a.m. near Main Street when a Ford Transit van in the slow lane had its driver’s side passenger windows hit, Quintero said.
About 15 minutes later, a Ford F-150 pickup entering the express lanes at Main Street had its rear window cracked by a pellet or BB, said Quintero.
Around 5:30 a.m., the driver of a Ford Excursion was approaching Lincoln Avenue in the middle lane when its rear window was shattered by one or more pellets or BBs, Quintero said.
Two motorists reported shattered windows while driving on the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Seal Beach area on April 27.
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