The California Highway Patrol has increased patrols along some Southern California freeways after more than 50 reports of BB or pellet gun shootings destroying vehicle windows in the past three weeks.
CHP offices in Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties continue to compare notes of the various reports, most of which have occurred on the 91 Freeway from Riverside to Cerritos, said Dan Olivas, an officer and spokesman.
“We are putting a lot of attention on this, because it is high profile and it’s a very dangerous situation,” Olivas said Wednesday, May 19.
The CHP declined to elaborate on its investigation.
Motorists either heard a noise or saw a flash as their vehicle’s window was damaged. In some cases, the victim immediately pulled over and reported the shooting, while other drivers waited up to 90 minutes before reporting the crime.
Many of the incidents have occurred in the Corona area, with some in Anaheim, Riverside and Cerritos on the 91. One shooting targeted a double-decker bus on the 105 Freeway in Downey.
About 9 a.m. Friday, the back window of an officer’s cruiser was damaged by an unknown object while on the shoulder of the eastbound 91 Freeway, near the 241 Toll Road, CHP Officer and spokesman Florentino Olivera said.
Drivers who experience a window shattering should contact the CHP as soon as safely possible, Border Division Assistant Chief Donald Goodbrand said.
“We’re asking that drivers call 911 immediately and provide that information and descriptions of vehicles in the surrounding area and eventually, we hope, we start to get similar descriptions,” Olivera said. “Most of the victims continue driving for miles and miles before they call, and at that time we’ve already lost vital information.”
One minor injury was reported as a result of the shootings. Officers did not know if they were multiple suspects.
“We are taking each of these incidents seriously and actively searching for those responsible,” Goodbrand said. “The public should feel safe while driving their vehicles on our California freeways.”
Source: Orange County Register