Crime and Courts

Man gets 50 years to life for fatal East County freeway shooting

Shaundralina Williams was shot March 5 while driving on SR-94 in Spring Valley.

A La Mesa man who chased after another vehicle on State Route 94 and fatally shot its driver was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years to life in state prison.

Thomas Evans III, 49, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder and an allegation of using a firearm in the March 5, 2022, killing of 27-year-old Saundralina Williams.

Williams, a National City resident and mother of three, crashed into the center median of the freeway after she was shot. She died days later at a hospital. Two men who were passengers in Williams' vehicle were not struck by the gunfire.

One of the bullets Evans fired went into a Spring Valley apartment just south of the freeway, but none of its occupants was struck, according to testimony from a preliminary hearing held last year in El Cajon Superior Court.

According to testimony, Williams was driving a Ford Edge in a La Mesa residential neighborhood near Evans' home at around 5 a.m. and her two passengers were taking packages from homes in the area.

California Highway Patrol Investigator Art Berain testified that per surveillance footage from a nearby home, Williams parked across the street from Evans' home at some point. Berain testified that in the footage, Evans can be seen running toward the Edge, which speeds away, and Evans then points what appears to be a gun at the vehicle.

Prosecutors allege Evans then drove after the Ford Edge on surface streets and then onto westbound state Route 94 before shooting Williams on the freeway just east of Kenwood Drive.

Evans was arrested at his home about two weeks later after further investigation identified him as the registered owner of a Toyota Tacoma investigators believed the shooter was driving.

The California Highway Patrol said the suspect in the State Route 94 shooting that left a young mother of three dead was arrested. NBC 7's Dana Griffin has more.

Berain testified that Evans told him that on the night of March 5, he was awakened by a noise and found two men inside his garage. One of the men shot at him and he fired back in self-defense, though Berain said there was no evidence to suggest a shooting occurred inside the garage.

Berain testified that Evans said he then "blacked out," could not remember what happened next, and made no mention of the shooting on the freeway.

Contact Us