Saturday, May 22, 2021

Fear On The 91: Dozens Of Freeway Pellet Gun Shootings Unnerve Drivers And Stump CHP


Taryn Campbell sat at the wheel of her Ford Flex, grinding along in stop-and-go traffic on the 91 Freeway. That was when she heard the "loud popping sound." "It startled me. I saw the window had been cracked," Campbell said. "The car behind me was two lengths back, so I knew I hadn't been rear-ended. Something had flown through the window."That's when I called my husband, and he told me someone has been shooting through car windows on the freeway," she said of the May 11 incident in Corona near Lincoln Avenue. Like tens of thousands of Southern California commuters, Campbell was heading home after a long workday. Her route to the Inland Empire from Orange County is one of the nation's busiest arteries. And in recent weeks, that freeway has become a crime scene — at the center of nearly 60 incidents in which motorists have come under fire in Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. Campbell, a hospitality manager, crawled home to the Norco area with her window gradually falling apart. Once she stopped and investigated the damage, she found a buckled pellet inside her vehicle. California Highway Patrol investigators think it is same ammunition fired at dozens of drivers in recent weeks. "I am just grateful no one crashed because of this pellet," she said. "But sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt or worse." Such shootings aren't unprecedented on California's busy roadways. Given the scale and the escalating threat, the CHP is conducting a widespread, coordinated investigation across three counties, Assistant Chief Donald Goodbrand said. "We do believe it is coming from a moving vehicle," Goodbrand said Thursday. "At this point, we are still determining if this is an individual or multiple individuals. We have shootings in the morning and afternoon." In fact, the rear window of a CHP patrol car was shattered after being struck May 14 in Anaheim on the eastbound shoulder of the 91. "We are taking each of these incidents seriously and actively searching for those responsible," Goodbrand said. "The public should still feel safe while driving their vehicles on our California freeways." Source

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