A man who authorities say fatally shot another person driving along the 91 Freeway in Cerritos last year is facing murder charges in that shooting and another killing that occurred just three days later, officials told KTLA Thursday.
The criminal complaint listing the charges against Daniel Martinez alleges he killed Samuel Ferguson “because of (his) race” and as part of criminal street gang activities. Ferguson has been described by officials as black.
Martinez, 30, was driving along a stretch of the freeway near Artesia Boulevard when he allegedly opened fire on Ferguson as he drove by in another vehicle traveling eastbound on Aug. 17, according to California Highway Patrol. Ferguson was struck multiple times and transported to UCI Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The 27-year-old victim, a Cerritos resident, was returning home from his job where he worked with adults who have special needs, CHP officials said.
But according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Martinez, an Inglewood resident, is also accused in the killing of Alhmond Davis just three days later.
Martinez could face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted, said DA’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
Santiago could not provide details about the killing of Davis or other information about the motive in the fatal shooting of Ferguson. The car-to-car shooting that killed Ferguson has been previously described as possibly due to a range of motives.
“It could be a multitude of things,” CHP Sgt. Gomez said at the time of the shooting.
While the DA’s office alleges Ferguson’s killing was racially motivated, it’s unclear what other circumstances were involved.
The charges against Martinez include two murder counts, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of shooting from a motor vehicle, two counts of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, one count of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and one count of possession of an assault weapon, according to the criminal complaint.
Martinez is accused of being in possession of an AR-15 rifle.
No other details have been released by authorities.
Correction: An earlier version of the headline and lead sentence on this story misidentified the city in which the shooting occurred. The story has been updated.