Marine recruiter's car shot at on busy freeway

December 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A Marine recruiter's car was the apparent target of a shooting on a busy South Bay freeway Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say the Marine Corp officer is a very lucky man because the three or more bullets that pierced the car missed him as he was driving southbound on Highway 85 between Stevens Creek and De Anza boulevards.

Many people would have panicked and lost control of their vehicle if it was hit by gunfire. But in this case the victim knew exactly what to do and didn't lose his cool. He exited Highway 85 at De Anza Boulevard and was able to pull into a parking lot at a local nursery.

A close-up look at his vehicle shows three bullet holes in the left rear passenger side of the government issued Pontiac, along with two shattered windows. Sheriff's investigators are not sure if the shooter was in an adjacent lane or possibly in the opposite lanes of the busy freeway.

It was in the parking lot that the victim called 911 to report the shooting. This triggered a massive response by the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. The southbound lanes of Highway 85 were immediately shut down while a phalanx of deputies combed the three lanes and shoulders for cases from the bullets.

The shooting happened just after 1 p.m. and the lanes reopened about two hours later. The northbound lanes were not affected by the closure.

The Marine, who has not been identified, was wearing a jacket over his uniform. And the vehicle had no Marine Corp insignias. So it's not believed he was targeted because of his military status.

"He pulls over and quickly discovers he's been shot at, more than once, multiple times by someone who was either on the freeway, or on the side of the freeway, we haven't confirmed that yet," Sgt. Jose Cardoza said. "The Marine Corps officer was not injured. We do not have any suspect information at this time."

The biggest challenge now for investigators is locating a witness because they do not have a suspect description or a vehicle used in the shooting. Investigators are hoping someone driving on the freeway around 1 p.m. might have witnessed the shooting.

Even though the shooter is still at large, officials say the public is safe driving along Highway 85.

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