Highway Shooting Suspect Faces New Charges

Dragasits charged with 2 counts of attempted murder

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    A man suspected of shooting at a major San Diego highway in April, injuring one woman and striking a second commuter's vehicle, was charged with two counts of attempted murder at a Tuesday readiness conference.

    Stephen Dragasits, 58, is accused of opening fire on state-Route 163 traffic in Kearny Mesa during the April 5 morning commute.

    Ashley Simmons, 21 and of Escondido, was wounded while traveling southbound north of Balboa Avenue. The University of San Diego student suffered a collapsed lung and had a bullet lodged in her liver, prosecutors said.

    A man later came forward reporting the rear of his vehicle was also struck. He was not harmed.

    Accused Shooter Shows Up in Shades

    [DGO] Accused Shooter Shows Up in Shades
    A man accused of shooting at cars, injuring one driver and damaging another car showed up to court in sunglasses. The judge made him take them off.

    About a month before the incident, Dragasits, a transient, was convicted of throwing rocks at commuters near the same highway stretch

    On April 22, Dragasits pleaded not guilty to two counts of shooting at an uninhabited vehicle and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Those felony charges carried a possible 19-plus year prison sentence.

    On May 3, he was placed on $2 million bail.

    Dragasits was originally booked on suspicion of attempted murder, but the District Attorney’s Office said it would wait until all the evidence was collected before deciding whether to file the charges.

    A preliminary trial is scheduled for July 11.