Victim Grateful for SR-163 Shooting Arrest - NBC 7 San Diego

Victim Grateful for SR-163 Shooting Arrest



    The family of a victim in a shooting on a San Diego highway is thanking CHP investigators after a man was arrested in connection with the case.

    Stephen Joseph Dragasits, 58, was arrested Wednesday at the WalMart in Kearny Mesa according to California Highway Patrol officers.

    Ashley Simmons, a 21-year-old University of San Diego student, was traveling on southbound State Route 163 north of Balboa Avenue when she was shot in the abdomen.

    “The family would like to thank CHP investigators and all law enforcement associated with the case for their hard work and dedication,” said family spokesperson Andy Hoang.

    Suspect Arrested in SR-163 Shootings

    [DGO] Suspect Arrested in SR-163 Shootings
    An arrest has been made in the highway shootings that injured one driver and damaged a second car in San Diego, according to officials.
    (Published Thursday, April 21, 2011)

    The family says it’s grateful that authorities have a suspect in custody.

    “Their daughter is recovering from her injuries and is in high spirits. This has been a traumatic experience; however, she remains strong, and is trying to move forward as she attempts to complete her studies just in time for graduation,” said Hoang.

    A second driver came forward after news reports of Simmons’ injury, reporting that his car was damaged by a bullet in the same area of San Diego on April 5.

    CHP Announce Arrest in Highway Shootings

    [DGO] CHP Announce Arrest in Highway Shootings
    Shell casings found along the stretch of highway where two vehicles were shot in early April led investigators to arrest a 58-year old transient.
    (Published Thursday, April 21, 2011)

    About 10 shell casings were collected to the side of the highway between Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Balboa Avenue.

    CHP Capt. Rich Stewart said those shell casings contained potential DNA evidence that led them to Dragasits, a transient who lives in a motor home that is often parked on Kearny Villa Road.

    Dragasits’ DNA was in the California Department of Justice DNA database which has profiles from 1.7 million convicted felons and felony suspects, said Michael Grubb with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department crime lab.

    Dragasits is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges including attempted murder, officials said.

    Read more: Suspect Arrested in SR-163 Shootings