Shots rang out on a highway across an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 35 Saturday morning as a man armed with an assault rifle shot at cars for nearly an hour. One victim has come forward to share his harrowing story of dodging bullets on Austin's busiest highway.
Rigoberto Ochoa says, "When I looked back behind me, I noticed a guy standing by with a rifle and as soon as I noticed him I quickly stepped on the gas and sped off and automatically he started shooting at us."
Ochoa and a friend were out to get some food when they found themselves being shot at and driving for their lives. "He was shooting at us and I think he was aiming at us to kill us," Ochoa continued. "I just kept on hearing the shots fired and the impact to my pickup." He described hearing the suspect fire seven rounds, one blew out his tire. Ochoa says his friend who was in the front passenger seat was shot in the arm.
The assault on Ochoa and his passenger were just one of many, the shooter drove around shooting people at random. He also shot a man, woman, and 7-year-old at another stop.
The police arrested and charged 25-year-old Rolando Martinez with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Joseph Chacon, the Assistant Police Chief, said in a statement, "What I can tell you is that my understanding is the 7-year-old is out of danger and is moving into a rehabilitation type of stage of her recovery."
The younger brother of the shooter was interviewed by local news KXAN and said, "Not an hour goes by that I don’t think, I don’t think of him ’cause it’s just crazy. That ain’t him. He’s chill, he’s calm, he’s serious but he wouldn't do anything like this. Guess… I don’t know."
Ochoa said he fears that if Martinez gets out he will shoot people again, "I did believe at the time this was going to be the end of me. He should stay in jail. If he gets out, next time he’s going to do it again. He’s going to do it again and I feel there are no excuses."
Martinez was booked at Travis County Jail on $1 million bonds and he also has a detainer from Immigration and Naturalization Service. Police are investigating how he acquired the rifle.
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