(LOS ANGELES) — A suspect was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly shooting at a number of cars with BB guns on a Los Angeles freeway. Investigators are now trying to determine if the same suspect is linked to dozens of similar recent shootings on Southern California highways.
Authorities believe the suspect was using either BB or pellet guns to shatter car windows and terrorize motorists.
The California Highway Patrol and Riverside Police Department arrested Jesse Leal Rodriguez, 34, of Anaheim, for a series of recent shootings on State Route 91. An investigation continues into a more widespread series of BB gun shootings in Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties in recent months.
Rodriguez has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $750,000 bail, according to police.
“The investigation of the shootings has been a priority for the Southern, Inland, and Border Divisions of the CHP,” Border Division Chief Omar Watson said in a statement.
The suspect was taken into custody near the 91 freeway at about 9 p.m. Tuesday after several 911 calls from drivers about their windows being shot out.
Motorist Ashley Bravo was among those who have been hit during the recent sprees.
“We were driving on the freeway and we heard a big pop,” said Bravo. “I’ve been scared and saying ‘Don’t get on the freeway,’ and then look what happens.”
According to Los Angeles ABC station KABC, there were at least three similar shootings reported on Tuesday and at least 100 incidents since late April — mostly occurring along the 91 freeway. Authorities have so far only been able to connect Rodriguez to the Tuesday shootings.
“All of a sudden, I heard a large explosion — like a bang — in the rear, behind me. Then I started hearing glass shattering and falling,” a recent victim, Dr. Don Pettinger, told KABC. “So I checked my mirrors and figured I was possibly the next victim being shot at.”
No new shootings have been reported Wednesday and no motorists have been injured in the incidents, according to KABC.
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