New father Tony Arroyo vividly remembers the path four bullets took through the cabin of his SUV when he was shot at while driving on Interstate 805 through Mountain View last week.
One of the shots came inches away from his 8-month-old daughter who was strapped in her car seat. The shooter's motive, best Arroyo and police can tell, was road rage.
"They were trying to kill me. Arroyo said. "They weren’t trying to scare me or warn me, they were trying to take my life."
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Arroyo said the first shot shattered his rear window, whizzed by his daughter, put a hole in his own headrest then flew out the windshield.
"She was just normal," Arroyo said, describing his daughter after the close call. "She had no glass because I had a cover over her, so there was no glass on her."
The second bullet went through the driver's side door and lodged into his thigh.
“It didn’t hit any bone. It went into my muscle and two inches from my main artery. Thank God it wasn’t any bigger of a bullet,“ Arroyo said.
Doctors told Arroyo removing the bullet would only cause more harm, meaning he'll live with a reminder of the frightening afternoon for the rest of his life.
The third bullet came through Arroyo's windshield and hit the dashboard, and the fourth round missed his Toyota 4-runner altogether.
Arroyo can describe the gunman only as the passenger in a silver Nissan or Honda sedan. He can’t be sure which. Behind the wheel was a woman with maroon-colored hair.
Arroyo said he passed the couple on the right as he traveled southbound on I-805. For the next mile, individuals in each vehicle exchanged gestures and a few near-collisions.
Arroyo thought he pulled away from the silver sedan until he heard the shots fired. He pulled off on the 43rd Street exit and the silver car sped away.
“I was terrified. I don’t know what I would have done if [my daughter] was hit," Arroyo said.
He said he learned a hard lesson about engaging in the road rage of others. The leg he will have to live with, but Arroyo said he could not live with the possibility of losing his daughter.
NBC 7 checked with the CHP for an update on the case but did not hear back before this story was published.
Arroyo said the suspects in the silver car have not been identified.
Last July the CHP reported a significant increase in reported road violence on San Diego highways.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting is asked to call the California Highway Patrol San Diego’s Special Investigations Unit at (858) 293-6000.