CHP probing reports of gunfire at cars on freeways

Christina Martinez Adame was driving south on the 405 Freeway near Seal Beach Boulevard on April 27 when she heard a loud boom. She said she believes her rear window was shot out.

“You had glass coming into the car, the power of the wind going through. I felt like our car was caving in,” Adame, 49, said.

Another motorist’s window shattered that day in the same area at about the same time, and these aren’t the only reports of similar incidents.

“Every day, somebody is telling me, ‘This happened to so-and-so.’ ‘It happened to me.’ ‘It happened to another parent,’ ” said Adame, who lives in Los Alamitos.

These accounts have reached investigators at California Highway Patrol offices, who are comparing notes with one another across Southern California in an effort to determine who — or what — is responsible for the damage.

CHP officials say they are hesitant to alert the public about the existence of a serial shooter because while some of the damage shows tell-tale signs of bullets or BB pellets, they say there’s little evidence that those confirmed attacks are related. And in many other cases, the officials say, it’s unclear whether the damage is attributable to gunfire or simply road junk.

Investigators are continuing to look for answers.

“They definitely have been in contact with surrounding areas. They have been using every resource necessary to get things sorted out,” said Officer Dan Olivas, a spokesman for the CHP’s Inland Division.

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That can’t come soon enough for Lisa Sanford, 55, a Corona resident who was driving south on the 15 Freeway in Norco just north of the 91 Freeway in March when one of the windows on her SUV exploded.

“I kept hearing ‘crack, crack, crack, crack, crack.’ I was in shock. I was freaking out,” Sanford said.

When she examined the SUV, she found eight strikes from what appeared to have been ammunition from a BB or pellet gun fired at close range from another motorist.

There have been a number of other similar incidents this spring in the Inland Empire.

“It’s well above what you would consider normal,” Olivas said.

So far, he said, no one has been able to link them.

That’s also the case in Orange County.

Adame said one of the CHP officers who examined her car told her, “Oh, wow, that looks like all the other shootings” — a dozen of them in the county in the past week, Adame said she was told.

Officer Mitch Smith, a spokesman for the CHP’s Westminster office, which is investigating Adame’s incident, said investigators there are looking into “approximately five” similar reports spanning April 19 to Tuesday morning, May 4.

“We have no reason to believe they are related. But to call them freeway shootings or similarincidents, it’s unclear at this point,” Smith said.

Green ink marks the places on Lisa Sanford’s SUV where she says gunfire struck her vehicle on the 15 Freeway in Norco. The California Highway Patrol is investigating numerous reports of damage to vehicles from possible freeway shootings in Southern California in recent weeks. (Courtesy of …read more

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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