Man Suspected of Gunning Down Motorist near High School Campus

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

BANNING (CNS) – A 19-year-old man allegedly gunned down a young motorist as the victim drove past a high school campus in Banning where a graduation ceremony was underway, authorities said Thursday.

Daveyon Dickee Lee Woodley of Banning was arrested and booked into the Smith Correctional Facility Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder, lying in wait and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

Woodley is being held without bail.

According to the Banning Police Department, about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect, wearing a mask and clad in dark-colored clothing, positioned himself near the entrance to Banning High School on Westward Avenue, where a charter school was holding a graduation ceremony, with several Banning police officers assigned to the campus providing security.

“One of the officers witnessed (the) suspect … shooting into a black sedan that was traveling eastbound on Westward Avenue, in front of the high school,” the police department said in a statement. “The sedan collided into a light pole and came to a stop, and the suspect ran from the location, as the witnessing officer gave chase.”

The lawman requested medical aid for the victim driving the sedan, later identified as 20-year-old Austin House of Cabazon, and continued pursuing Woodley, police said.

Riverside County Fire Department paramedics reached the location minutes later and pronounced House dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

Additional police officers converged on the area and joined the pursuing officer in searching for the gunman,  authorities said.

“After an extensive search, officers located the suspect hiding underneath a vehicle parked inside of a garage of a nearby residence,” the police department stated, adding that he was taken into custody without incident. “While searching adjacent properties, a loaded handgun was located just outside of the garage Woodley was found hiding in.”

A possible motive for the alleged attack was not disclosed.

Background information on Woodley was unavailable.

Anyone with information was asked to contact homicide detectives at 951-922-3170.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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