Man arrested in road rage shooting involving off-duty California cop

A Mission Viejo man fired rounds at an off-duty San Bernardino police officer during a bout of road rage near Lake Elsinore over the weekend, and was arrested Sunday, Feb. 21, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The off-duty officer was heading east on Highway 74, known as Ortega Highway, and was being tailed by a motorist who was honking their horn, flashing their headlights and “driving dangerously” Saturday evening, CHP Officer Mike Lassig said Monday. The motorist crossed into oncoming lanes to pull ahead of the officer and stopped abruptly in front of his vehicle west of Decker Canyon Road, then fired several rounds at him with a handgun at about 7:46 p.m.

The suspect fled east, Lassig said. The officer caught up to him while he was stopped on the shoulder of the highway and pulled up behind him. The man held a handgun out of his driver-side window and backed up toward the officer, who then fired at the suspect.

No one was injured in the shootings.

The officer managed to record the suspect’s license plate number before his vehicle sped away toward Lake Elsinore, Lassig said. The CHP and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded and searched for the motorist, but did not find him Saturday evening. Caltrans Tweets showed Ortega Highway in that area was closed for the investigation Sunday from 12:19 a.m. to 4:34 a.m.

Investigators identified the man who opened fire at the off-duty officer as Keith Frederick Prante, 34, of Mission Viejo. He was arrested at about 8 a.m. Sunday, Lassig said. The two had never met before Saturday evening.

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Prante was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing a firearm, according to inmate records. He was held at the Southwest Detention Center on Monday in lieu of $1 million bail.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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