Bullet strikes truck on LA freeway

| 5/5/2005

A bullet struck a semi on the Long Beach Freeway in Los Angeles Wednesday, media outlets reported.

The shooting was the ninth in a series of shootings along interstate highways in the massive metropolitan area; it was the first time a tractor-trailer was struck.

The Long Beach Freeway carries Interstate 710 from the coastline – and the massive Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex – inland. It carries a significant amount of truck traffic.

According to media reports, driver Francisco Chavez, who works for Los Pericos Food Products, was driving north on the highway near the cities of Compton and Lynwood, where the highway crosses I-105. He heard something hit his rig, and when he arrived at his destination, he found a bullet hole.

Media reports vary on what part of his rig was hit, but one report indicated the hole was on the driver’s side, about five feet behind the driver’s door. The Los Angeles Times said police recovered the slug.

California has had 11 freeway shooting incidents so far this year, according to the highway patrol. Nine have occurred in the past two months, and four in the past week alone. Four people have been killed. Most of the shootings occurred in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.

Police officials say they have no reason to suspect that the recent shootings are linked and are asking all motorists to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior.

The California Highway Patrol has created an investigative team aimed at quickly tracking down leads. Police are asking anyone with information about the shootings to call 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).