Preliminary hearing for accused Highway 145 shooter

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Jorge Gracia is accused of shooting at cars along Highway 145 between Fresno and Kerman late last year. (KFSN)

Testimony continued Monday in the preliminary hearing of the suspected Highway 145 shooter. Jorge Gracia is accused of shooting at cars along the highway between Fresno and Kerman in November and December 2017.

Gracia is now facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

One of the victims, Ron Berry of Oakhust described the fear he felt when a bullet ripped through his car to Prosecuting Attorney Katherine Plante.

"I was travelling northbound on 145 and just crossed over Shaw and just heard a loud bang," said Berry.

"Was anybody else in the vehicle with you?" asked Plante.

No, thankfully. I've got a 5-year-old that sits in that back seat and I'm so glad they weren't with me that day," said Berry.

Plante also called Ashley Vargas, an identification technician from the Fresno County Sheriff's Department to the stand. Vargas examined Berry's car.

"There was a bullet hole in the left rear window, as well as in the rear seat, just to the right of the headrest," said Vargas.

She also removed the bullet, one of five that were recovered from several vehicles that have been linked to a gun found in Gracia's car.

Kerman Police Officer Eric Antuna first spotted the gun after Gracia was stopped in Kerman.

"There was a black handgun in the pocket on the drivers side door. There was also some drug paraphenalia or drugs in the center console in a brown paper bag," said Officer Antuna.

Officer Antuna found the gun after Gracia had been stopped at gunpoint by an off-duty corectional officer who claimed Gracia pulled a gun on him while driving on Highway 145 in January.

The shooting episodes involved ten cars.

One person suffered minor injuries when hit by a bullet, two others were injured by shattered glass.

The preliminary hearing is expected to wrap up in the next couple of days.

If convicted, Gracia could face a life prison term because of previous felony convictions.
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