Driver Shot on SR 163: CHP

Victim called mom to tell her she was having trouble breathing

Mark Leimbach

An Escondido woman was shot while driving southbound on State Route 163 near Balboa Avenue Tuesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A bullet entered the woman's 2006 silver Toyota Matrix while she was on her way to school at the University of San Diego.

The 21-year-old told police that she was near Balboa Avenue when she noticed pain in her lower right torso, CHP officers said.

Original reports from CHP indicated that the woman drove to the USD campus and asked for help from security guards who then called paramedics. But University of San Diego officials later said she called her mother while driving to report that she was having difficulty breathing.

“Mom called 911. The paramedics were able to reach the victim about 50 yards shy of the USD East Campus Entrance,” said USD Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs Pamela Gray Payton.

Emergency crews examined her and found a gunshot wound in her right side and took her to Sharp Memorial Hospital where she went into surgery.

The woman was out of surgery as of 11:45 a.m. and her prognosis for recovery appears to be good, according to the CHP.

Officers shut down SR 163 southbound from Interstate 15 to Balboa Avenue around 11 a.m. while investigators searched the highway for evidence in the case.

Traffic was backed up from the 52 interchange to Mira Mesa Boulevard as officers walked on foot searching for shell casings or any evidence indicating where the shot may have come from.

Officers found about ten shell casings near the shoulder along the highway between Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Balboa Avenue. They say it's still too early to know whether those casings are related to the shooting.

"Whatever we come across here with respect to possible evidence, we have to analyze to see if it is associated with this crime. So, we can't make an assumption at this point, nor should we make an assumption at any point," said CHP Officer Kenneth Jackman.

CHP reopened southbound lanes to traffic around 2 p.m.

The bullet entered the woman's car through the rear passenger side door, police said.

A CHP investigator examined the vehicle before it was towed.

There are no other witnesses and no 911 calls related to this shooting, according to the CHP.

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