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Man charged in series of BB gun shootings in Riverside County pleads guilty


A 35-year-old man charged in a string of BB gun shootings on Riverside County roadways has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, officials announced Monday.

Jesse Leal Rodriguez, of Anaheim, entered into a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to three counts of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with each victim and admitted to a prior strike, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

Jesse Rodriguez is seen in a photo released by the Riverside County DA’s office.
Jesse Rodriguez is seen in a photo released by the Riverside County DA’s office.

Rodriguez was apparently responsible for multiple vehicles being shot with a BB gun on county highways and roads for about a month last year. The incidents had the community and motorists on edge.

Rodriguez was finally arrested last May when his maroon Chevy Trailblazer was seen on the rearview camera of a Tesla driving in the area off Hamner Avenue and Hidden Valley Parkway in Norco, officials said.

The back window of the Tesla was shot and shattered, but no one was injured.

That same morning, another victim’s passenger side rear window was shot while the driver was traveling on the 91 Freeway near Tyler Avenue in Riverside.

The driver had been looking behind her to change lanes and saw the Trailblazer. She later identified it as the same vehicle in photos from the Tesla camera system, officials said.

That evening, a third victim was traveling on the 91 Freeway near Magnolia Avenue in Riverside when she heard a pop and her rear window shattered, officials said. She also told authorities she saw a dark SUV pass her on her right side.

Then, about 30 minutes later, at 9:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers pulled over the Trailblazer in a shopping center parking lot at Magnolia and Tyler avenues, and Rodriguez was arrested.

A BB gun, BBs and other items were found in his SUV, officials said.

Rodriguez was eventually charged in connection with the incidents.



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