A 22-year-old woman who was shot in the eye with a BB shortly after an alleged argument in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Stevenson Ranch was recovering in a hospital on Monday.
The shooting occurred near Pico Canyon Road and Old Road (map) at about 10:38 p.m. on Saturday, according to Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station.
The suspected shooter was taken into custody Monday, authorities said.
The victim, identified only as Megan, and her boyfriend told relatives they were driving out of the Wal-Mart parking lot when another vehicle attempted to ram them.
The couple continued to drive, but were stopped by a traffic light, Megan’s aunt Diana said.
When Megan turned to look at the driver next to her, the window exploded in her face, Diana said.
Authorities initially believed someone threw a glass bottle at the car, but later confirmed that a BB shattered the window, went through Megan’s right eye and lodged in her head.
The shooter fled the location in his vehicle, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Station.
The couple was allegedly involved in a verbal altercation with the shooter in the parking lot, according to the release.
Megan underwent seven hours of surgery to save her eye, but was expected to remain hospitalized for three months while the eye recovers from the procedure, according to her aunt, who added that debris stopped just short of Megan’s brain.
She was in good spirits on Monday, although doctors were “not hopeful” about her sight returning to the damaged eye, Diana said.
“She’s got such a beautiful spirit. She was smiling,” Diana said.
Megan also doesn’t have much vision in her left eye, which has been weak since childhood, Diana said.
Megan’s boyfriend, who was driving the car, was not injured, according to Dubin.
The alleged shooter, Cory Flenory, 28, was arrested Monday morning at his home in the 28100 block of McBean Parkway (map) after someone called authorities and provided information, Dubin said.
Flenory, who was on parole, kicked out a patrol car window and was pepper-sprayed by deputies during his arrest, Dubin said.
Flenory was being booked on a mayhem charge at the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station, according to Dubin.
It was unclear why Flenory was on parole, but he was on being held without bail due to a hold issued by the California State Parole Office.
He was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
“Everybody was thrilled to find out that he was in custody,” Diana said, adding that the couple did not know the man.
The incident was initially reported as a road rage incident, but detectives were in contact with family and looking into other possibilities and motives, Dubin said.
Megan’s father said the family believes the attack was a hate crime or a gang-related case of mistaken identity.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Sheriff’s Station at 661-255-1121. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 (800-222-TIPS).