Madera man arrested in California's first highway shooting of 2020

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gun violence along Highway 99 led to the arrest of a Madera man during the overnight hours.

Officers responded to the area of 99 and Olive after the victim called police to say the driver of a pickup was shooting at him while the two were headed southbound on the freeway.

No one was hurt but the incident is now the state's first highway shooting of the year.

Simon Garcia Jr., is facing several charges after investigators say he was driving drunk and shooting at another car while speeding southbound on Highway 99 in the early morning hours Thursday.

"Luckily, there was no one else on the freeway at the time," said Mike Salas of the California Highway Patrol.

According to detectives, the highway violence began at around 2 a.m. when Garcia and the victim were seen shouting at each other at a Madera gas station near Highway 99.

"During that chase, from the suspect chasing the victim, shots were fired. He was on the phone calling 911 immediately," said Salas.

That call helped the CHP locate the vehicles, and officers pulled over the suspect's pick-up near Olive and 99 in Central Fresno.

During the arrest, officers also found a loaded 9 mm handgun.

"When the driver was pulled out from his vehicle, shell casings did fall from his lap, so it made it a little bit easier to follow up on that investigation that he actually did it," said Salas.

This is California's first highway shooting of the year. The CHP investigated 18 in 2019.

"It's not an everyday occurrence that this happens on the freeway, but unfortunately it's becoming a little more common," Salas said.
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