On Tuesday May 25th, a built-in Tesla camera caught a man shooting out the windows of the car while in an intersection in Norco, CA. The camera was also able to identify the shooters’ car, a red Chevy Trailblazer, before he drove away. Two of the three passengers were uninjured. The camera that captured the attack was able to aide in the man’s arrest.
Jesse Leal Rodriguez, 34, was found next to 91 Freeway and Tyler Street driving the SUV that matched the one in the video with a BB gun inside. Rodriguez is now in jail with a $750,000 bond and facing three charges of attempted murder and three counts of assault on a person causing great bodily injury for the three people in the Model 3.
Rodriguez could face 57 years to life in prison if found guilty, but according to Teslarati, the District Attorney’s office believes more charges will be added to his record. Since April, there have been 100 reports of vehicles windows being shot out with BBs in Riverside, Orange County, and Los Angeles. Since his arrest, no other reports have come in. Those reports are still under investigation.
This not the first time Rodriguez has committed a crime involving a firearm. In April 2013, Rodriguez was sentenced to 32 months in state prison for carrying a loaded unregistered firearm in public and for his involvement in gang activity. Abc7 reports that he was released on parole in January 2018.
It is unknown if he acted alone or if others are involved in this string of crime, but due to the halt in reports of shootings in these counties it looks like no one else assisted in these attacks.
What these victims went through is terrifying. They are also extremely lucky that they were not seriously injured. Mike Hestrin, Riverside County’s District Attorney emphasized this by commenting on the case:
“Shooting at moving vehicles with a BB gun or pellet gun while traveling at high speed on our roads or freeways is incredibly dangerous,” and that “Shooting out windows of cars could easily startle drivers in traffic and cause a major accident. We are all relieved that no one was seriously injured by these crimes.”
Tesla’s built-in cameras have been used to catch people committing crimes. Two months ago, a camera caught an attempted carjacking in Jacksonville, Florida. Action News Jax reported that the attacker tried to get into the car with a gun in his hand. The driver, Draper Younce, said he ducked, honked the horn to save the video, and then slammed on the gas. The attacker fired one round into the Model 3, but Younce was not injured.