VISTA (CNS) - A documented gang member was behind bars Friday for allegedly ambushing another young man last month in a remote area near the eastern outskirts of Camp Pendleton, seriously wounding him.
Sergio Huerta Ramirez, 19, was arrested Thursday at a friend's home in Fallbrook during a parole and probation compliance sweep, sheriff's Lt. Todd Richardson said.
Shortly before 1 p.m. Jan. 3, Ramirez allegedly opened fire on a moving Chevrolet truck with a pistol near the intersection of De Luz Road and Harris Trail. The pickup veered off the roadway and crashed into a tree and a fence, after which the victim got out and collapsed, according to Richardson.
A woman driving through the sparsely developed area came across the wounded man a short time later and took him to Fallbrook Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.
If the victim had not been found so promptly, he "definitely would have died," the lieutenant said.
The wounded man, whose name has been withheld, is now recovering in an undisclosed location outside the San Diego area.
Investigators have determined no motive for the assault, and it remains unclear if the perpetrator opened fire while on foot or from inside another vehicle, according to Richardson.
About 20 minutes after the shooting, a small sedan was stolen in Fallbrook, and it later turned up in the Temecula area, abandoned and torched. Authorities believe there is a "high likelihood" the gunman also committed the auto theft and arson to escape and cover his tracks, Richardson said.
Ramirez was booked into Vista Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and a gang-crime allegation. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.