A California Highway Patrol cruiser
A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

A motorist suspected of firing a gun at another driver Monday on Interstate 15 in the far northern reaches of San Diego County, causing minor injuries, was arrested following a freeway pursuit, authorities reported.

The alleged road-rage shooting south of Rainbow Valley Boulevard was reported shortly before 6 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

It was unclear what prompted the gunfire, which left a 57-year-old Murrieta man driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck with cuts from flying shards of glass, CHP public-information Officer Hunter Gerber said.

As CHP officers responded to the reported crime, they saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspected shooter’s car heading south on the freeway near state Route 78 and pulled it over. Though the suspect, a 28-year-old Rialto man, was initially compliant, he drove off as the personnel approached his silver Mercedes-Benz CLK230C coupe.

The ensuing pursuit passed through the Pala, Bonsall and Hidden Meadows areas before reaching Escondido. There, the fleeing driver — who had two passengers riding in his car with him — exited onto Via Rancho Parkway, where the Mercedes veered across the offramp and crossed onto an adjacent onramp, crashed into a Mini Cooper, overturned and struck a guardrail.

Following the collision, the suspect jumped out of his car and made a failed attempt to escape on foot, Gerber said. Officers chased down the man, whose name was not immediately available, and arrested him on suspicion of felony evasion of police, hit-and-run, possession of narcotics and burglary tools, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Investigators found a loaded gun in the suspect’s Mercedes, Gerber said.

The driver of the vehicle struck by the suspect’s car, a 59-year-old Escondido man, was treated at Palomar Medical Center for minor injuries, according to the Highway Patrol.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock