A 34-year-old Anaheim man has been arrested in connection with a weekslong series of of BB gun shootings that targeted drivers and vehicle occupants in Southern California, authorities said Wednesday.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 100 shootings involving a BB or pellet gun had been reported in Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties in the past month, most of them taking place along the 91 Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Suspect Jesse Leal Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday night after a series of calls from motorists whose windows were being shot out in the area of the 91 Freeway at Tyler Street in Riverside, CHP said Wednesday evening.
Information provided by the victims helped Riverside police and CHP officers find Rodriguez and the “suspect vehicle.”
Investigators are still trying to determine if Rodriguez is a suspect in the other BB gun shootings that have occurred over the last two months.
CHP called him a “person of interest” but said he was “believed to be responsible” for the string of shootings. Authorities said the incidents were doubly dangerous because they could both cause injury from the BB gun pellets and could cause collisions when drivers react to the gunfire.
The investigation has been a top priority for three separate CHP divisions, according to the agency’s arrest announcement.
“It has been a variety of vehicles, locations, colors, times of day,” CHP Officer Dan Olivas said. “It is somewhat sporadic.”
Rodriguez was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held on $750,000 bail.
Video from a freelance photographer at the arrest scene Tuesday night showed a man being escorted by officers into a patrol car in the 10100 block of Magnolia Avenue, which is near the 91 in Riverside. The man appeared to have been driving a red Chevrolet Trailblazer.
CHP is still working to determine whether more than one person was behind the string of attacks.
“The likelihood that it is more than one person — there is definitely a possibility there,” Olivas told KTLA earlier this week.
CHP’s statement on Rodriguez’s arrest referred to the possibility of “persons” being involved in the incidents.