Search underway for suspects in shootings on Inland Empire freeways

City News Service

The California Highway Patrol Tuesday asked anyone who may have information on two separate Fourth of July shootings in Riverside and Moreno Valley to come forward, as the search for suspects continues.

The first attack happened about 2:50 p.m. Sunday on the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway at Central Avenue.

CHP Officer Juan Quintero said the victim was exiting onto Central when a man at the wheel of a late-model silver four-door sedan opened fire. Five rounds struck the motorist’s car, and one shot hit him, Quintero said.

He said that the driver, whose name was withheld, was taken to Riverside Community Hospital and is recovering.

A possible motive for the shooting has not been established.

Five hours later, just before 8 p.m., the occupants of a Volkswagen Jetta were headed westbound on the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway, approaching the Interstate 215 split in Moreno Valley, when they came under fire, according to Quintero.

As in the prior shooting, five rounds hit the car, all on the front passenger side, he said.

“The victim stated a blue-colored sedan pulled up next to them and shot at them,” Quintero said. “The victim could not explain why the shooting occurred.”

The passenger, whose identity was not disclosed, suffered at least one gunshot wound and was taken to Riverside Community Hospital.

The driver indicated there may have been a road rage incident prior to the attack, but it was unclear whether the confrontation involved the Jetta or other vehicles. The investigation is continuing, according to Quintero.

Anyone with details was encouraged to contact the CHP Riverside office at 951-637-8000.

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