MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 26-year-old man faces assault and illegal firearm possession charges following an apparently random shooting last week on Interstate 35.
Trinidad Garcia, of Forest Lake, is charged with one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of drive-by shooting, and one count of illegally possessing a firearm, court documents filed in Chisago County show.
According to a criminal complaint, Garcia was driving a BMW during last Friday’s snowy afternoon commute when he fired a gun at another driver on Interstate 35 near Wyoming.
The bullet hit the passenger’s side door of the other driver’s SUV. No one was hurt.
The driver told police that nothing preceded the shooting. He was just driving home from work in the snow, going slow, and he heard a gunshot.
Immediately after the shooting, Garcia lost control of his BMW and slid into the center ditch, the complaint states. A nearby State Patrol officer responded and arrested Garcia without incident.
In Garcia’s front pocket was a loaded handgun, which had been reported stolen last year. Also in Garcia’s car was a shoebox containing more than $11,000 in cash.
Garcia told the trooper he was on his way to Canada, the complaint states.
If convicted of the charges, Garcia faces more than a decade in prison. His first court appearance is slated for Monday.
Authorities say Garcia has twice been convicted of assault, making him illegible to possess a gun.