CERRITOS (CBSLA) — The rash of BB or pellet gun shootings at vehicles on Southern California's freeways has apparently expanded west to Carson and Downey.
More than a dozen vehicles have been damaged in BB or pellet gun shootings as they drove on Southern California freeways. No one has been hurt in any of the shootings, but authorities are alarmed.
The latest shooting happened Thursday at about 6:50 a.m. in Cerritos on the westbound 91 Freeway near Bloomfield Avenue, according to the CHP. A single shot was found in the driver's side rear window and may have been fired from the carpool lane.
Another shooting was reported Wednesday night, also on the 91 Freeway in Cerritos, where a white sedan was left several dozen holes and dents in its hood and windshield. The driver, Michael Hernandez, says he saw a flash before hearing his windshield crack. Hernandez says he believes his car was hit by a BB or pellet a couple of months ago as well.
"These two in particular that we're talking about within the 24-hour period, we don't believe that they are related. We're not going to rule that out yet. The initial investigations are still happening," California Highway Patrol Officer Marcos Iniguez said. "The other incidents that you're referring to, we don't know, we don't have a connection yet between all the incidents that you're referring to. But again, it is something the Highway Patrol is taking very seriously, and we are looking to see if we can find any type of connection between any of these incidents."
On Tuesday night, the CHP says they are also investigating a possible airgun shooting in Downey that damaged several windows on a double-deck bus taking Verbum Dei High School soccer players and staff from Los Angeles. The bus was going east on the 105 Freeway, west of Paramount Boulevard, in the carpool lane at about 4 p.m. when an upper deck passenger told the driver a window had been shattered.
When the bus arrived in Santa Fe Springs, the driver called 911 after seeing three of the windows had been damaged. CHP investigators say the damage was consistent with a BB or pellet type gun.
Many of the shootings have occurred along the 91 Freeway and in the Inland Empire, including one that happened about two hours after the bus was shot at in Downey. The driver of a van reported having his windows shattered after being shot as he drove on the 91 Freeway in Riverside. That shooting was followed about an hour later by another incident, also on the 91 Freeway, at Tyler Avenue.
Other shootings, which date back to May 4, have also been reported along the 405, 5, 110, and 105 freeways in Seal Beach, Buena Park, Downey, and Lincoln Heights.
It's not known yet the shootings are the work of one person, or a group. Descriptions of the shooter have varied, and authorities are trying to work out whether the shots are being fired from a moving vehicle, or from a perch like a sniper.
Leaders of CHP divisions in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties plan to meet later Thursday to compare notes and find any connections between the shootings.
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