In the latest in a rash of recent Southern California freeway shootings, a man driving to work on the Golden State Freeway near Griffith Park was wounded in what police suspect was a random attack.
Investigators say they see no pattern to the four shootings in the past two weeks, which in itself is troubling."There is no method to this madness," said Detective Bob Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department's Northeast Division.
The latest shooting victim, 21-year-old Raul Corona, was driving to work at 5:23 a.m. Thursday when gunshots from another car hit him in the torso and shoulder, police said. He was listed in critical condition at Los Angeles County/-USC Medical Center.
"We don't know if this is just a road-rage incident or who knows," Lopez said.
Police said the shots were fired from a green Honda Civic carrying three Latinos with shaved heads. Both cars were heading north near the Colorado Boulevard off-ramp when the shooting occurred.
"He just said he was driving on the freeway and all of a sudden shots rang out," Lopez said.
He said police don't believe Corona is a gang member and aren't aware of any connection between the victim and his assailants. Corona works at a sales job in the Glendale-Burbank area.
After the shooting, Corona struggled to drive off the freeway but his car crashed into a guardrail, at which point he stumbled out of the car before calling for help, police said. He was conscious at the scene.
Police interviewed Corona on Thursday, but he was heavily medicated and difficult to understand, Lopez said.
According to CHP statistics, there were 10 cases last year in which someone was arrested or convicted for shooting at an occupied vehicle. That is the average for the past 14 years, from a low of three such shootings in 1988 to a high of 18 in 1993.
The shooting comes five days after a man was shot and killed while changing a tire on the southbound Golden Gate Freeway. On July 16, a 3-year-old boy was shot in the head on the Pomona Freeway in Monterey Park. His father, Thomas Simental, 23, also was wounded.