The suspect had a prior criminal record, and he fired the BB gun at a vehicle carrying three passengers in Norco. The authorities say he is very likely responsible for six other similar incidents in the area.
Jesse Leal Rodriguez, 32, has allegedly fired a BB gun and broke the windows of a Tesla with three people inside at the beginning of this week, as reported by The Orange County Register.
He has been taken into custody for three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault after the Norco incident.
The prosecutors say the suspect risks a life sentence if he gets convicted on all counts. This is because there is a “prior strike” conviction, KTLA-TV reported.
How did it all happen?
Rodriguez allegedly fired the BB gun at the Tesla vehicle on Tuesday. None of the three passengers in the car were hurt.
The investigators questioned several witnesses and found out the person with the gun was driving a maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer. With this information they could track down Rodriguez.
While searching the inside of the suspect’s vehicle they found a BB gun, BBs, and other evidence that was not disclosed.
“Shooting at moving vehicles with a BB gun or pellet gun while traveling at high speed on our roads or freeways is incredibly dangerous. Shooting out windows of cars could easily startle drivers in traffic and cause a major accident,” Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin said.
There were several other incidents resembling this attack in the area. Officials are convinced Rodriguez is involved in the other attacks too, but so far, he has only been charged for this one incident.
“Rodriguez is suspected of 7 cases of firing a BB gun at occupied vehicles while those vehicles were being driven. Rodriguez was in possession of a BB gun and his vehicle was identified. Numerous CHP areas are currently investigating well over 100 similar incidents, some of which could possibly be linked to Rodriguez,” California Highway Patrol investigator Steven Cuevas wrote in court filings after the Norco incident.