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Hunt on for gunman in birdshot-firing spree in Carson, California

Police believe the same person is to blame for attacks on Southern California motorists, and a pedestrian. KNBC's Beverly White reports.

The hunt is on around Carson, Calif., for a birdshot-firing gunman believed responsible for at least five shootings in about a week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says.

The shotgun-toting suspect injured two people and damaged at least four cars between April 18 and April 26, the day two cars were hit hours apart, officials said.

The shooting spree appears to have started when a 27-year-old woman walking along Main Street in Carson was struck in the arm, Sgt. Mike Austin said in a statement. The other incidents involved motorists whose cars were struck by gunfire as they drove, two on city streets and two on nearby Interstate 110, he said.

Birdshot grazed the head of a 21-year-old man driving a Honda on the interstate, sending him to the hospital for two days, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.

In three cases, the birdshot struck vehicles without breaking glass or injuring people inside, so drivers were not certain what happened until they arrived home, NBCLosAngeles.com said.

See the original story at NBCLosAngeles.com

The common factor in the shootings around the city of 92,000 about 16 miles south of downtown Los Angeles appears to be the use of birdshot by the suspect, Austin said.

While no official description of the suspect was issued, several witnesses described him as a heavy-set Hispanic man, age late 20s or early 30s, with his head shaved and sporting a tattoo on the back, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.

“I try to stay away from that area until they figure out who this idiot is," Carson resident Dennis Johnson told NBCLosAngeles.com.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida told msnbc.com that there were no new leads Thursday.

Some other recent cases involving highway shootings in Southern California and elsewhere:

  • Enrique Ayon, 25, of Lancaster, Calif., was charged with eight counts, including two of attempted murder, after allegedly crashing his Chevrolet Malibu through a security gate near the U.S.-Mexico border Oct. 3, 2011, before firing at four vehicles along Interstate 805 in National City.
  • A mistrial was declared April 12 when San Diego jurors could not agree whether Stephen Dragasits was guilty of six counts, including attempted murder, in a year-earlier shooting spree terrifying thousands of drivers along State Route 163 as he allegedly fired randomly at motorists, NBCSanDiego.com reported.
  • On Dec. 9, 2011, Los Angeles police killed Tyler Brehm, 26, a rampaging gunman firing randomly at cars and people in Hollywood. He fatally wounded music executive John Atterbury, 40, who was shot in the jaw while sitting in his Mercedes-Benz on Vine Street.
  • In Port St. Lucie, Fla., Jarrett Lamos, 18, was arrested last month after allegedly shooting BBs at passing motorists, striking one in the shoulder, TCPalm.com reported. Investigators found Lamos with two BB guns and BBs, police said.  

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