Man Charged with Gunning Down Motorist Outside Banning High School

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

BANNING (CNS) – A 19-year-old man who allegedly gunned down a young motorist as the victim drove past Banning High School, where a graduation ceremony was underway, was charged Friday with first-degree murder and other offenses.

Daveyon Dickee Lee Woodley of Banning was arrested Wednesday, minutes after the alleged attack.

Along with murder, Woodley was charged with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, discharging a firearm in a school zone and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

The defendant, who is being held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility, was slated to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon at the Banning Justice Center.

According to the Banning Police Department, about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Woodley, 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,” according to a police department 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 one else was injured.

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 attack was not disclosed.

The defendant has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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