SoCal Freeway Shootings Investigated

By: AP
By: AP

LOS ANGELES - Police said Monday they do not believe the weekend death of a motorist was connected to a monthlong string of other Southern California freeway shootings; it could have been a suicide.

The latest shooting occurred Sunday along the 101 freeway in the San Fernando Valley, where police found driver Mario Gordillo Sical, 20, in a crashed sedan with a gunshot wound to his head.

Police suspect he was upset over the suicide of his girlfriend, who hanged herself at a hospital Sunday morning, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported on its Web site.

"He was apparently despondent," police Capt. James Miller told the newspaper. Sical and his girlfriend had been arguing before her suicide, Miller said.

Detective Supervisor Fred Faustino said Sical apparently text-messaged a friend saying he didn't want to live anymore.

Officer Sara Faden said authorities were investigating but did not think the shooting was connected to any previous cases. Investigators also tried to determine whether Sical's death might have been a car-to-car shooting or indiscriminate gunfire.

The shootings have made some drivers concerned about road rage.

"I have to be careful, maybe not cut in line. Or if someone does something, I shouldn't honk my horn," Lize Park, 50, said at a gas station near a 101 freeway off-ramp.

Another case occurred late Saturday about 30 miles away in Long Beach, when a man was shot in what the victim called a road-rage incident. He was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening.

On Feb. 27, a 46-year-old man was shot in the upper body and right arm while driving on the 210 freeway northeast of Los Angeles. He survived.

A co-worker of that victim was arrested two days later and charged with attempted murder, Azusa police Detective DeWayne Eldridge said. Authorities think the alleged shooter believed the victim was romantically involved with his estranged wife, Eldridge said.

A 26-year-old man died after a March 1 shooting on the 101 freeway in the San Fernando Valley that followed an argument on Hollywood Boulevard.

A 54-year-old woman was found about two weeks later shot in the head in a car crashed on the San Bernardino Freeway in eastern Los Angles County. She died at a hospital.

In a separate case, the California Highway Patrol said Monday it is investigating a series of apparent BB gun attacks that shattered rear passenger windows of six vehicles on Interstate 10 in eastern Los Angeles County, near the town of Baldwin Park. No one was been injured in those attacks, in a 15-minute span during the Monday morning rush hour.

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