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Arrest made in Highway 101 shooting
December 07, 2012, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

An 18-year-old East Palo Alto man was arrested yesterday for his part in a shooting on Highway 101 in Belmont Sept. 30 that sent three people to the hospital, one who was shot in the head.

Eric Valencia Vargas was arrested in Redwood City yesterday and is being charged with multiple felonies including attempted homicide, according to the Belmont Police Department.

He was taken into custody on the 700 block of Veterans Boulevard at about 1 p.m. in an operation that involved several local law enforcement agencies, according to police.

"This suspect is an extremely dangerous individual and we are pleased that he has been taken into custody,” said Belmont Police Chief Dan DeSmidt. "The positive outcome to this investigation is due to the professionalism and high degree of cooperation between all of the officers and agencies involved.”

The shooting originated in Belmont near the Ralston Avenue exit on Highway 101.

The incident started when the victims were traveling in a red Dodge Charger Sept. 30 on southbound Highway 101, south of the State Route 92 interchange, when the driver was struck by gunfire from a suspect in another vehicle, according to police.

The Charger was seen swerving on the highway before it crashed into a fence and landed in a drainage ditch between Ralston Avenue and Holly Street, according to police.

Police said at the time that the Charger was definitely targeted since no other vehicles were struck by gunfire. It is unclear whether the incident was related to road rage or if the suspect had any prior contacts with the victims.

At least one of the crash victims, a 24-year-old Menlo Park man, had been struck by gunfire in the head, first responders initially reported. A 19-year-old man from East Palo Alto was also struck by gunfire. A 23-year-old Santa Cruz woman was also in the Charger and taken to the hospital with minor injuries.


Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: silverfarb@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.


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