Man arrested in connection with freeway shooting of 10-year-old boy

CHP Inland Division Chief Bill Dance announces the arrest of a suspect in the shooting of a 10-year-old boy.
(California Highway Patrol)

Authorities have arrested a man in connection with a car-to-car shooting on the 15 Freeway south of Hesperia that left a 10-year-old boy with a serious head injury, the California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday.

CHP officers arrested Jose Luis Chavez, 48, of Phelan on suspicion of attempted murder on Friday, the day after the shooting. Chavez was already in custody when the CHP arrested him. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department had picked him up on suspicion of trespassing and being a felon in possession of a firearm one hour after the shooting.

The Sheriff’s Department received a call from a husband and wife, who are retired deputies, to report a man trespassing on their property Thursday. When deputies arrived, they found Chavez had several rounds of ammunition on him and a firearm in his car, authorities said.

After seeing the news of the freeway shooting, one of the retired deputies called the CHP.


“She mentioned we should probably go interview this individual,” CHP Inland Division Chief Bill Dance said. “It was her hunch, her intuition — maybe her Spidey-senses were tingling.”

CHP officers interviewed Chavez and linked him to the shooting case, officials said.

“We are very confident this is the suspect,” Dance said.

Though a motive has yet to be determined, Dance said the shooting was unprovoked.


“There was no road rage, anything like that.” he said. “The family was together in the car. They were just traveling the freeway when this happened. It was just a random act.”

The boy was released from the hospital Tuesday night and is expected to make a full recovery.

“It could have been bad,” Dance said. “Somebody was looking out for him.”


Twitter: @r_valejandra