Highway Shooter Sentenced to Decades in Prison

Stephen Dragasits, 60, shot at cars along SR-163 in April 2011

A man convicted of randomly shooting at cars along State Route 163 was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison, plus an additional 11 years and four months.

Stephen Dragasits, 60, was convicted in May of two counts of shooting at an occupied car and assault with a firearm. However, jurors were undecided on an attempted murder charge.

In April 2011, Dragasits fired shots at cars on southbound SR-163 just north of Balboa Avenue.

He shot a 21-year-old University of San Diego student in the abdomen as she was driving on the highway. Another vehicle was also damaged by the bullets he fired.

At Friday’s sentencing, the woman shot by Dragasits said she still lives with constant pain from the shooting more than two years later.

Dragasits was arrested in 2011, about two weeks after the shooting. He was identified as a transient who lived in a motorhome often parked on Kearny Villa Road.

In April 2012, jurors could not come to an agreement in Dragasits’ case. At that time, he faced six counts including attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle and assault with a firearm.

The case then went to retrial. He was convicted in May 2013, followed by Friday’s sentencing.

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