A La Mesa man accused of chasing down another vehicle on state Route 94 and fatally shooting its driver was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on felony counts including murder and attempted murder.
Thomas Evans III, 48, is accused of opening fire on another vehicle on March 5, 2022, and causing fatal injuries to its driver, 27-year-old National City resident Saundralina Williams.
After she was shot, Williams’ vehicle crashed into the center median of the freeway. She later died at a hospital. Two men who were passengers in Williams’ vehicle were not struck by the gunfire.
One of the bullets Evans allegedly fired went into a Spring Valley apartment just south of the freeway, but none of its occupants were struck, according to testimony from a preliminary hearing held Wednesday in El Cajon Superior Court.
According to testimony, Williams was driving a Ford Edge in a La Mesa residential neighborhood near Evans’ home at around 5 a.m. and her two passengers were taking packages from homes in the area.
California Highway Patrol Investigator Art Berain testified that per surveillance footage from a nearby home, Williams parked across the street from Evans’ home at some point. Berain testified that Evans can be seen running towards the Edge, which speeds away, and Evans then points what appears to be a gun at the vehicle.
Prosecutors allege Evans then drove after the Ford Edge on surface streets and then onto westbound state Route 94 before shooting Williams on the freeway just east of Kenwood Drive.
Evans was arrested at his home about two weeks later after further investigation identified him as the registered owner of a Toyota Tacoma investigators believed the shooter was driving.
Berain testified that Evans told him that on the night of March 5, he was awakened by a noise and found two men inside his garage. One of the men shot at him and he fired back in self-defense, though Berain said there was no evidence to suggest a shooting occurred inside the garage.
Berain testified that Evans then said he “blacked out,” could not remember what happened next, and made no mention of the shooting on the freeway.
City News Service contributed to this article.