A 6-year-old boy was shot and killed during an apparent road rage incident on the 55 Freeway in Orange on Friday morning, and the gunman remains at large, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The child was sitting in a booster seat in the right rear passenger side of his mother’s car when he was struck by the gunfire on the northbound 55 near Chapman Avenue around 8:10 a.m., according to CHP Officer Florentino Olivera.
He was transported by the Orange Fire Department to Children’s Hospital Orange County, where he died. Authorities have not identified the victim.
“It’s unfortunate we lost a boy this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the mom and the family,” Olivera said.
Investigators spoke with the boy’s mother, who was not injured, as they tried to piece together the events that led up to the deadly gunfire. They are also trying to determine how many shots were fired.
The shooter is believed to have been in a white sedan, but authorities do not have a detailed description of the car or suspect.
Olivera described the road rage incident as “isolated” and said it was unrelated to a string of more than 60 BB or pellet gun shootings that have been reported in Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles counties in the past three weeks, mostly along the 91 Freeway. 91 Fwy shootings: More apparent BB gun attacks in SoCal as number of incidents hits 60
CHP is pleading with witnesses to come forward, particularly anyone whose vehicle is equipped with a dash camera and was traveling on the northbound 55 between the 22 Freeway and Chapman between 7:55 and 8:15 a.m.
“If you were driving by, you saw something that was not right, call it in, even it wasn’t something major, call our office,” Olivera said.
The northbound side of the freeway was closed for more than three hours amid the active investigation. All lanes reopened before noon.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the CHP’s Santa Ana office at 714-567-6000.
Check back for updates on this developing story.