Matt Drudge headlined his link to an AP story about the latest freeway shooting War zone: Driver found shot in L.A. freeway wreck.
War zone. Interesting choice of words.
Ever since moving here in the early 1980s, Ive always been hyper-conscious of the possibility of encountering a gun on a freeway.
Im pretty sure that in 85 or 86 a really mad guy driving a Bimmer near the junction of the Costa Mesa and San Diego freeways waved a piece out the window at me in my beat up, air-conditionless 1974 Mustang II. It occurred right after I crossed something like three lanes of traffic to go from the south 55 to the south 405, because that interchange was pretty darned confusing and difficult to navigate back then.
In the past couple of weeks, theres been a spate of shootings on area freeways, all of which have baffled police and frightened motorists. The outcomes werent as benign as my encounter 20-plus years ago.
At least two of the recent incidents were fatal. A couple of others nearly fatal. One may have been the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Heres the roundup:
[BULLET]On March 12, Deborah Lynn Lepper, a 54-year-old Rancho Cucamonga chiropractor, was shot to death along a stretch of the 10 Freeway near White Avenue in Pomona. The case remains unsolved.
[BULLET]On Feb. 27, just a few miles north on the 210 Freeway between Irwindale and Grand avenues, a 46-year-old man was shot several times.
Azusa police told reporters a compact car pulled alongside the unidentified man and started shooting.
And as hes traveling eastbound at some point a vehicle opened fired on his car, striking his car several times on the passenger-side door, Lt. Paul Dennis, of the Azusa Police Department, told a KABC reporter. The vehicle was struck several times and our victim was hit a couple of times as well.
[BULLET]This past Saturday night a man driving on the northbound 710 Freeway near Del Amo Avenue was apparently shot several times by someone in another car.
[BULLET]On Sunday the alarm was sounded when a man was found shot to death on the 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks. It turns out his death may have been a suicide.
So much for the war zone theory.
Of course the truth is there are probably people getting killed every day on the freeway just not by gunfire. So we dont notice it as much, unless it ruins our commute or its gruesome enough to make the morning news.
After a day or so of keeping up with news accounts, reading blogs and listening to radio traffic reports about the recent shootings, it dawned on me that our freeways no longer have names.
There is no San Bernardino, no Pomona, no Long Beach, no Santa Monica, no Hollywood, no Golden State, no Artesia, no San Diego, no Foothill, no Harbor, no Pasadena, no San Gabriel River.
All those places, all those evocative names, they all add up to one two-word phrase that just as aptly describes the area outside of Baghdads Green Zone.
War Zone. Thanks, Drudge.