CHP arrests man responsible for shooting Santa Barbara motorist on the freeway


California Highway Patrol officers arrested 27-year-old Lompoc resident Erick Morales in connection with a road rage incident in the City of Santa Barbara in which another motorist was shot in the face with a BB gun.

The incident occurred on Oct. 23 at about 2:45 p.m. along U.S. Highway 101 southbound near Carrillo Street. CHP said Morales made an unsafe lane change in front of the victim. The victim moved into the middle lane to pass Morales when he allegedly fired a BB gun from his Nissan Sentra.

The victim suffered a minor injury to the left side of his face as a result. The incident was caught on video by one of the victim's passengers.

Morales was arrested about four hours later when he arrived at his home in Lompoc. He was later booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Barbara Area CHP office at 805-967-1234.



An Oxnard man is recovering from a road rage incident in Santa Barbara that left him with a pellet wound to his face.

Ulysses Lira said he was driving a van full of coworkers from a contracting job in Goleta to Santa Barbara on the 101 around 1:45 on Monday afternoon when a man driving a blue Nissan Sentra pulled out a weapon covered in a bandana and opened fire.

The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

"I didn't really know what happened until I felt blood," said Lira.

He thought he had been hit by a bullet.

"I was bleeding pretty bad," said Lira.

He said he had the window open because it was so hot outside.

A couple of Lira's coworkers saw the driver getting too close and used their smart phones to video what happened.

Alex Garcia posted video of the incident on his YouTube channel.

Sgt. Steven Reid said the California Highway Patrol got a copy of the video and will look at every frame to identify of the shooter and shooter's license plate.

"A situation like this can escalate, we're very fortunate that we didn't have more injuries," said Sgt., Reid.

He said the driver who was shot could have lost control.

Instead, Lira got away from the driver and drove to their next job at the Sandbar in Santa Barbara and called 911.

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