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Shot Motorist Chases Suspect Along California Highway
By YAZHOU SUN
A California motorist who was shot multiple times chased after his assailant until police arrived and arrested the suspect.
Kenneth Baker, 57, was driving his Ford SUV on the 91 Freeway in Fullerton on Tuesday afternoon when a bullet hit the left side of his car. Six more rounds were fired at his car, three smashing the window and hitting his arm.
“I felt something leaking going down and I saw that my shirt was full of blood,” Baker told ABC affiliate KABC.
Although wounded, Baker was not going to let the gunman get away. While calling 911, Baker chased after the suspected shooter's car at speeds reaching 98 mph.
In the 911 call released by the Fullerton Police Department, Baker could be heard saying: “Yes, I’m hit. They took out my window and I think my arm is shot.”
After the operator asked Baker what color and type of car the suspect was in, Baker said: “It’s a Ford. I am trying to catch up to him now.”
“Ok, that’s probably not the best idea if he’s shooting at you,” the operator answered.
“Ok, I’m right behind him now,” Baker told the operator.
The California Highway Patrol got to the scene and arrested 32-year-old Jerry Valentin. Baker was put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.
“For what reason I don’t know,” Baker told KABC. “I never got close to him. I don’t know the man. I’ve never seen him in my life.”
“We don’t know Valentin’s motive,” Sgt. Kathryn Hamel at the Fullerton Police Department told ABC News. “They have no prior relationships.”
Baker, a trucker driver at VONS, a supermarket chain in California, said he was not going to let the man go.
“Had I not chased the man down, the man would have gotten away,” Baker said.
Valentin is facing four felony charges: attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, assault with a firearm, unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm inside a vehicle. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday.
“It gives me great pleasure that this man is off the street,” Baker said.