In what police believe are entirely unrelated incidents, two freeway shootings in Anaheim have claimed the life of one person and have resulted in one detainment and one murder charge.
The first shooting took place about three weeks ago. Prosecutors have alleged that on July 14 around 8 pm, the defendant, a 45-year-old man, drove up next to a pickup truck on the westbound 91 freeway near the 57 freeway, where he then shot at the passenger side window. The passenger of the pickup was struck in the head and died, and the driver of the pickup truck was also injured but managed to pull over to the side of the road. Two other backseat passengers were uninjured.
Anaheim police detectives are still investigating the incident, though the defendant was arrested last Thursday for cocaine possession and what then booked on suspicion of murder on Friday. He was formally charged on Monday and faces felony counts of murder by drive-by shooting, use of a firearm, possession for sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Neither prosecutors nor the police has alleged a motive for the shooting, but the defendant faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted. He faces arraignment on August 20 and is currently being held without bail at the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, CA.
The second shooting took place Monday afternoon, the same day that the defendant discussed above was charged with murder in a separate shooting. According to Anaheim police, officers were called just after 4:20 pm Monday to assist the California Highway Patrol (CHP) with a car stop on the 91 freeway between the toll road and Weir Canyon Road. The stop involved what the CHP believed may have been an armed man.
Officers detained the driver of one vehicle, and another driver with three gunshot wounds was discovered in a white Ford SUV a short distance away on the freeway. The driver of the SUV was shot three times in his upper torso and left arm but is expected to survive. The SUV had a number of bullet holes on the driver's side of the vehicle and the glass on both driver's side windows were blown out.
A weapon was not discovered on the uninjured driver who was detained at the scene, but police closed all eastbound lanes of the 91 at Magnolia as they searched for a firearm that may have been used in the shooting. The driver was taken to the Fullerton Police Department for questioning. No arrests have been reported in connection with this shooting.
Police have said that there are no known links between Monday's shooting and the fatal July 14 shooting.
These two cases show just how seriously the authorities take violent crimes, particularly those involving firearms. Discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle may result in enhanced charges and penalties, and if someone lost their life in the shooting the defendant is likely to face life in prison without parole (as the defendant is facing in connection with the July 14 shooting).
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Violent Crime Cases in Orange County, CA
An aggressive defense is one's only hope against formal or informal allegations of a violent crime. The driver detained in Monday's shooting may not have been formally arrested or charged, but he would do well to involve an attorney who can advise him of his rights and options while representing his interests during any police questioning. Even in trying to prove his innocence or explain his side of the story, his statements could be misconstrued and used against him at a later date.
For information and insight regarding weapon-related violent crimes, please call an Orange County criminal attorney at the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman. We are here to protect your constitutional rights inside and outside of the criminal courtroom. (714) 733-1737