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Six Vehicles Hit by Sniper Fire, Interstate Shut Down

September 19, 1990

BEAUMONT, Calif. (AP) _ A sniper perched near Interstate 10 struck at least six cars, including a police car, forcing officials to close the freeway for more than an hour, police said today.

No injuries were reported.

A house and a car in the city of Beaumont, some 70 miles east of Los Angeles, also were hit by bullets late Tuesday, police said. No one was arrested by early today.

A police spokesman said the bullets may have been hurled by a high-powered slingshot, although at least two motorists said they heard gunfire.

The California Highway Patrol closed the intersection of Interstate 10 and state Route 60 for about an hour shortly after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, said CHP dispatcher Dorothy Boe.

Damage to the six cars was limited to broken windows and dents, said CHP officer Don Sackett.

″As of yet we don’t believe there was a drive-by, but a stationary sniper. Because of the number of vehicles and the time elapsed, we believe someone was standing and shooting,″ Sackett said.

During the search, a police car and command post were hit by bullets apparently hurled by a slingshot, said Beaumont police Sgt. Mitch White.

″When the bullets hit our command post we didn’t hear gunfire,″ White said.

The .38- and .45-caliber bullets looked as if they’d been fired earlier, and picked up for use in the slingshot, he said.

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