USD student shot while driving on State Route 163

Lanes of a major San Diego freeway were shut down for much of the day Tuesday as authorities investigated a shooting that injured a University of San Diego student. KUSI's Ed Lenderman has been following this story and reports on the latest details.

Early on, it didn't appear as if authorities had much to go on, but then came a search of
the freeway and some major discoveries.

It's late morning and upwards of 2 dozen highway patrol officers are walking with their heads down in the southbound lanes of State Route 163 in the Kearny Mesa area. It doesn't take them long to find what they are looking for, shell casings, 10 of them.  Five grouped together, just north of the Balboa exit, and another set of five just south of the exit.

The southbound lanes are closed at the 163 and I-15 split to Balboa as a bizarre shooting incident that wounded a 21-year-old University of San Diego coed is investigated.

The student told authorities she was driving south to school in the fast lane near Balboa, about 7:40 this morning, when she felt a pain in her right side but she continued on her way.

She did call her mother to report that she was having difficulty breathing.  Her mom called 911.
By the time the woman neared the campus she realized her condition was such that she needed assistance.

Paramedics reached her about 50 yards shy of the east campus entrance. Only then, apparently, was it discovered that the woman had been shot in the right rear of her torso.

When San Diego police arrived, they found a bullet hole in the right rear passenger door of her silver 2006 Toyota matrix. The student was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital where she underwent surgery. We are told her prognosis is positive.

Despite the proximity of the small caliber casings to the incident, the CHP says no preliminary conclusions can be drawn.

No witnesses to the shooting have come forward, but we should point out there are a number of businesses along this stretch of freeway, including a number of car dealerships.

As they review the evidence, CHP investigators are trying to put together a motive for what would appear to be, at least initially, a random act of violence during morning rush hour on a San Diego freeway.

We are told that later, an investigator did visit a dealership that is directly in front of the area where the first set of shell casings was found.

The freeway lanes were shut down for about four hours, reopening about 3pm.  

The CHP is asking for the public's help here, anyone driving in the area, again, around 7am Tuesday morning, whether you were on the freeway or the frontage roads on either side, if you saw anything suspicious please call the highway patrol.

Categories: KUSI