A motorist randomly fired a stolen gun into another moving vehicle on an interstate just north of the Twin Cities, crashed into a ditch and was arrested moments later, according to charges filed Monday.
The rolling shooting occurred about 1:40 p.m. Friday on northbound I-35 in Wyoming, the State Patrol said.
Trinidad J. Garcia, 26, of Forest Lake, was charged in Chisago County District Court with second-degree assault, drive-by shooting and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He appeared in court Monday and remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The driver of the targeted pickup truck, Michael Swonger, 43, of Spooner, Wis., was not injured, the patrol said.
Swonger told authorities that the gunshot came from a blue BMW, whose driver he did not know.
Swonger said that as he passed the BMW on the left he heard a pop before the BMW sped away. The bullet pierced the pickup’s passenger door.
“There was not any type of interaction between him and the (pickup) before the shooting,” the charges read. “The shooting appeared random.”
A trooper on I-35 saw the suspect’s vehicle behind him veer into the median ditch. There were many crashes and spinouts in the area as snowfall made roads hazardous and slowed many vehicles to 45 miles per hour.
Garcia was arrested at gunpoint, and a loaded gun was seized from his front pocket, according to the criminal complaint. The weapon was stolen from Inver Grove Heights last year, the complaint noted.
A law enforcement search of the Garcia’s vehicle turned up a shoe box with $11,481 in cash, the charges continued. Asked for his destination, Garcia said he was headed to Canada.
Garcia’s criminal history in Minnesota includes a conviction for third-degree assault and numerous convictions for driving after having his license revoked.