By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Troopers are still hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed a shooting on Interstate 5 last week, or saw the road rage incident and chase that took place in the 13-mile stretch north of Chehalis.
It happened around 11 a.m. on Wednesday and nobody was injured, but at least one shot shattered the rear window of a car.
The suspect is a older man who was driving a black Jeep Cherokee and the victim was driving a silverish-gray four-door Mazda hatchback, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Police have interviewed the Mazda driver, but have not located the Jeep, according to the state patrol.
As of yesterday, there was nobody who reported seeing the shooting, Trooper Will Finn said. They’re hoping an appeal for tips will help them out, and maybe even prompt the shooter to turn himself in, Finn said.
A detective out of Vancouver has been assigned to investigate.
Detective Jen Ortiz said this morning only two calls were made to 911. One was from an individual who saw the Mazda with its back window already broken out, around milepost 83. The other was from the 25-year-old man from Spanaway who was shot at, she said.
Ortiz hadn’t yet heard from any members of the public offering information, she said.
According to the victim, the events began in south Thurston County around milepost 93 or the Scatter Creek Rest Area and continued southbound into Lewis County.
He told police he got “brake checked” by the Jeep and admitted he returned the favor.
The state patrol says the driver of the Jeep pointed a handgun out of the driver’s side window and fired at least one shot.
The two continued at a high rate of speed in and out of traffic until milepost 80 – north of the Chehalis Wal-Mart exit – when the driver of the Mazda lost sight of the Jeep. The 25-year-old victim got off the freeway at exit 77, which is state Route 6 and Main Street and met up with police.
The Jeep is described as a black, mid 2000s base-model Jeep Cherokee with non-tinted windows and Washington license plates.
Its driver was described as a white male in his 60s to 70s with gray hair and a gray beard. The Jeep had a passenger described as a white female in her 80s, wearing a red shirt with an oxygen tube in her nose.
Anyone with information regarding the incident, the Jeep, its driver or passenger, is asked to call detective Ortiz at 360-449-7948.
For background, read “Car shot at, chased down Interstate 5 in Lewis County” from Wednesday December 30, 2015, here