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Traffic Dispute Results in Third Freeway Shooting

July 20, 1987|BILL BILLITER | Times Staff Writer

A dispute between motorists in stop-and-go traffic near the Orange County fairgrounds escalated into the third freeway shooting in the Southland this summer and left a 28-year-old Rolling Hills Estates man in critical condition, authorities said Sunday.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder when they drove into the fairgrounds minutes after the shooting, Costa Mesa Police Lt. Leslie Harrison said. The shooting apparently stemmed from a dispute over which car had the right of way in creeping traffic about 7 p.m. Saturday near the terminus of the Newport-Costa Mesa Freeway, Harrison said.

The shooting victim, Paul Gary Nussbaum, 28, was wounded in the neck and was reported in critical condition Sunday in the intensive care unit of Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center.

Harrison said Nussbaum was alone in his car headed south when he became involved in a dispute with the occupants of another car. One of the occupants of the other car pulled a gun and shot Nussbaum, Harrison said.

Nussbaum's car went out of control and slammed into three other cars, Harrison said. The other car drove off. But witnesses gave Costa Mesa police a description of the car, and it was spotted a few minutes later entering the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

Police arrested the two occupants of the car, and both were booked on suspicion of attempted murder. They were identified as Albert Carroll Morgan, 32, and Lonnie Joy Morgan, 28, both of Santa Ana. Harrison said Albert Carroll Morgan was the driver of the car and allegedly shot Nussbaum.

Albert Carroll Morgan was being held in the Costa Mesa Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. Lonnie Joy Morgan was released Sunday from the Orange County Jail facility for women in Santa Ana, according to jail officials.

Last month, there were two freeway shootings, both in Los Angeles County. The first was June 21 on the Santa Ana Freeway in Santa Fe Springs when an unidentified tailgating motorist fatally shot Rick Lane Bynum, 24, of Orange.

The second incident was June 22, on a freeway on-ramp in Alhambra, where Giang Nan, 19, of Los Angeles was shot and wounded.

No one was arrested in either incident.

Last Aug. 22, Corona Police Officer Patricia Dwyer was killed by a shotgun blast fired into her van on the Riverside Freeway as her husband was rushing their injured son to a hospital. A man who was later arrested and charged with her murder told police he fired the shotgun blast to frighten the driver of the van that had been tailgating him.

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