OCEANSIDE, Calif. – An 8-year-old boy who was with his mother when both were shot by an off-duty San Diego police officer in a parking lot confrontation was hit once in the leg, police said Tuesday.
The boy's mother, Rachel Silva, was hit twice in the arm, said Oceanside police Lt. Fred Armijo. Both were hospitalized after the shooting but have now been released.
The officer, Frank White, fired five shots during the March 15 altercation outside a Lowe's store in Oceanside.
Police are still trying to piece together what happened immediately after one vehicle cut another off in traffic at around 9:15 p.m. White was driving his own car and was accompanied by his wife, a dispatcher for the Carlsbad Police Department.
He has been interviewed by investigators, but Silva has so far declined to provide a statement to police, according to Armijo.
Silva's attorney, Gene Iredale, said his client told him she and White were screaming at each other by the time they reached the mall parking lot.
Iredale said White pulled up on the right side of Silva's car and began firing, hitting her son in the passenger seat and shattering her right arm as she reversed to get away.
"She was unarmed, she did not threaten the man, she did not assault the man," Iredale said. "He just lost it — it was a classic case of road rage."
Iredale said Silva plans to file a claim against the city of San Diego for unspecified damages.
Her ex-husband, a Camp Pendleton Marine who flew home from his deployment to care for their son, may file a similar claim, Iredale said.
Silva was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Forensic experts are doing ballistics, toxicology and accident reconstruction using video from surrounding stores to try to determine the chain of events that led to the shooting, Armijo said.
White, 28, is on administrative leave while Oceanside police investigate the shooting. It was not clear whether he had retained a personal lawyer.