FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The California Highway Patrol said a woman who was killed in a murder-suicide on the night of Dec. 17, while riding with her sister in the southbound lane of the 41 freeway near Ashlan Avenue, was not the intended target.
“It’s very tragic, very alarming, we’re just glad no one else was injured in the situation but anytime issues like that come upon us we take them very seriously,” said Mike Salas, the public information officer with the California Highway Patrol.
“At some point, the estranged boyfriend of the passenger in the victim vehicle, observed the estranged girlfriend and her sister driving within the city of Fresno.”
Investigators said the man then followed the sisters and somehow persuaded them to pull over onto the shoulder of the freeway.
“At some point that estranged boyfriend exited his vehicle, walked up toward the victim’s vehicle, and brandished a firearm,” said Salas. “The females observed that attempted to flee in fear of their safety.”
The man then fired several rounds into the vehicle striking the sister of his ex-girlfriend.
“Unfortunately, the victim in this was the sister of the estranged girlfriend she did succumb to her injures at CRMC,” Salas said.
Police don’t believe she was the intended target.
“The estranged girlfriend and surviving passenger called 911 and reported the incident and was able to provide the name and description of not only the suspect but also the suspect vehicle which had fled the scene,” said Salas.
The man was located less than an hour later driving in the northbound lane of the 41 freeway.
When police moved in to arrest him, the man then shot and killed himself.
“We do believe this is a series of domestic violence incidents that stem from some prior incidents,” said Salas.
The investigation is in the beginning stages, but police said the ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against the suspect.