I-10 domestic violence & shooting leads to arrest

CABAZON, Calif. — Authorities say a domestic violence incident on Interstate 10 east of the Cabazon Outlets near Haugen and Lehman Way, led to gunfire and the arrest of the alleged shooter Wednesday afternoon, May 20.

Although the reported gunman was apprehended after the violent incident, officers are still searching for one of the victims, who they say the suspect shot at, after the driver of a motorhome got into an argument with the alleged shooter as he beat a woman while sitting in heavy traffic.

That driver has not been identified and may not be aware their vehicle was fired upon, according to CHP officers now investigating the incident; which caused the freeway to be shut down while officers conducted their investigation.

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Officers from the CHP – San Gorgonio Pass Area Station were dispatched to the scene around 4:15 p.m., after receiving reports of a possible domestic violence incident with shots fired on westbound Interstate 10, CHP Public Information Officer Matt Napier reported today.

911 callers told emergency dispatchers that a Hispanic male passenger in a silver Volkswagen Rabbit was assaulting a woman who was operating the vehicle as it sat stopped in traffic on the highway due to a construction project.

A domestic violence incident and shooting on the westbound I-10 near the Cabazon Outlets and Haugen and Lehman Way forced the hours-long closure of the freeway while officers conducted their investigation. CHP – San Gorgonio Pass Area photo

An officer arrived at the scene about ten minutes later and observed the passenger, later identified as 36-year-old Charlie Pasillas, continuing to beat the victim, according to Napier; who said the officer was able to quickly remove Pasillas from the vehicle and detained him without incident.

Officers later learned Pasillas was a wanted felon and had an outstanding, out-of-county warrant for his arrest.

During their subsequent investigation, officers learned that before their arrival, a driver in a motorhome pulled alongside the Volkswagen and began arguing with Pasillas over the ongoing assault.

According to multiple witnesses interviewed at the scene, as the verbal altercation escalated Pasillas pulled out a firearm and fired one round at the motorhome.

After the shooting the motorhome continued westbound, according to Napier; who said officers were unable to locate the motorhome or its driver, who has not yet been identified or interviewed.

As their investigation was continuing, officers located a revolver along with a spent casing under the passenger seat of the Volkswagen where Pasillas had been sitting.

The woman initially attacked, who has not been publicly identified, sustained visible injuries to her face and neck, according to Napier. She was treated at the scene by paramedics and declined further medical treatment.

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Based on their investigation, officers arrested Pasillas.

He was later booked into Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility for a variety of charges, including domestic violence, shooting at a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm with gross negligence, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and possession of a controlled substance.

Online jail records indicate Pasillas remains in custody without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court May 22.

Officers are continuing to search for the motorhome driver and have asked for the public’s assistance in identifying that victim, as well as any other witnesses to the incident.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who witnessed all or part of the freeway violence is encouraged to contact Officer E. Nunez from the San Gorgonio Pass Area CHP office at (951) 769-2000.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org for anonymous, confidential help. If you are in immediate danger, please dial 911.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is availalbe.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.

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