FREMONT -- A man and his dog survived a road-rage shooting Thursday morning when the two crossed paths with an armed motorist who shot the 59-year-old Pleasanton man after a heated exchange on Interstate 680 in Fremont.
The injured man, who told officers he may have been driving too slow for the suspect's liking, was rushed into surgery after being shot at least once in the upper torso, Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said. His injuries were described as "serious" but not life-threatening, and he was able to communicate with police who responded to his shot-out brown Mercedes sedan outside a doughnut shop on Mission Boulevard.
The man's aging German shepherd was also in the Mercedes but was not hit by the gunfire, Bosques said.
The conflict began shortly before 5:30 a.m. on southbound I-680. Both drivers exited the freeway at Mission Boulevard, turning right onto Brown Road, Bosques said. At some point, four shots were fired at the Mercedes and the Pleasanton man was hit by at least one bullet.
While the victim told police that speed may have been a factor in the exchange, officials on Thursday hadn't determined what escalated the situation to violence. Police said the Pleasanton man may have been just as aggressive in his interactions with the shooter.
"There was definitely involvement from both parties, " Bosques said. "To what extent I'm not sure."
After the shooting, the wounded man drove to the Donut House in the 46600 block of Mission Boulevard, where a customer spotted him pulling up with a gunshot wound to his abdomen, Bosques said. An employee called police and rescue crews took the man to a hospital.
The dog was later picked up by family members after being taken to a Fremont animal shelter.
No arrests have been made in the case. The victim told police that the male suspect, who is being sought for attempted murder, was driving a white car with large, polished chrome rims from 2010 or later.
"It makes you think about what to do when you find yourself involved in a road-rage situation," Bosques said. "Move out of the person's way, move over to the slow lane ... You just have to try not to engage."
The shooting marked the second case of violent road rage in Fremont in eight days. A man fired shots at a car whose driver honked at him near the intersection of Auto Mall Parkway and Technology Drive on Oct. 17.
"I'm not going to say Fremont is a dangerous place to drive," Bosques said. "We have a lot of major thoroughfares running through our city. (Interstates) 680 and 880 (and highways) 237 and 84 all travel through our town and are heavily traveled, and for these kinds of incidents to escalate to a shooting is beyond reason."
Anyone with information about the suspect or the incident is asked to call Fremont police at 510-790-6900. The investigation is ongoing.