ORANGE (CBSLA) – A 6-year-old boy was killed in a road rage shooting on the 55 Freeway in the city of Orange Friday morning and the gunman is at large.
CHP officers at the scene of a shooting on the 55 Freeway in Orange, Calif. May 21, 2021. (CBSLA)
The shooting occurred sometime between 7:55 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. on the northbound 55 Freeway near Chapman Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olvera told reporters at a briefing late Friday morning.
“We did have what was an apparent isolated road rage incident,” Olvera said. “It’s not related to the window shatterings we’ve been having lately, completely isolated.”
The boy’s mother was driving north on the freeway in a silver Chevrolet sedan, with her son in the back in a booster seat, when the road rage incident and shooting occurred.
Officers responded and rushed the boy by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where he died.
Witnesses told CBSLA’s Tina Patel that the child’s mother had pulled over on the side of the road and told them that her child had been shot.
All lanes of the northbound 55 Freeway were shut down at Chapman Avenue. The closure was expected to last throughout the day, Olvera said.
May 21, 2021. (CBSLA)
Investigators do not know yet how many shots were fired by the suspect. The details of the road rage incident are unclear.
A couple who were driving by and stopped when they saw the mother pulled over on the side of the freeway told CBSLA what she said to them.
“She was hysterical obviously, ‘my baby, my baby,’ and we didn’t know what happened right away, it took a bit to figure that her son got shot,” Reyes Valdvia told CBSLA.
The mother also described briefly to them what she saw prior to the shooting.
“She was driving, another car, I guess, passed her up, and as she changed lanes they went behind her, basically they shot into the back of the car, and they hit her son,” Valdvia said.
The suspect vehicle was described only as a white sedan. There was no description of the shooter.
Detectives are asking anyone with dashcam or cell phone video to contact CHP.
There have been a spree of shootings involving pellet and BB guns on freeways across Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties since early May. The majority have occurred on the 91 Freeway. There were 11 such shootings reported Thursday. There have been about 50 shootings dating back to May 4.
Olvera reiterated that the road rage incident is not related to those.
“Once again, it’s not related to the window shattering incidents we’ve been having lately,” Olvera emphasized.