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Road rage is blamed as 2 are shot

A Marine's wife and her son, 8, are injured in Oceanside by an off-duty officer from San Diego, police say.

March 19, 2008|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

The unarmed wife of a Marine and her 8-year-old son were recovering Tuesday after an off-duty San Diego police officer shot them in a weekend road rage incident, authorities said.

Police offered few details about the shooting, which occurred at 9:14 p.m. Saturday in Oceanside.

Sgt. Kelan Poorman of the Oceanside Police Department said that the incident remains under investigation, and that detectives have not interviewed the woman, who was being treated at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.

Police would not release her name, saying only that she is in her 20s and lives at Camp Pendleton.

Poorman said the woman was shot in the upper torso. Her son was shot in the "lower extremity area," Poorman said, and was recovering at Rady Children's Hospital, also in San Diego.

The injuries to mother and son are not life-threatening, he said.

Camp Pendleton officials referred questions to Oceanside police. They would not say where the Marine was stationed.

Poorman identified the officer as Franklin White, 28, who has been a member of the San Diego Police Department since 2005. A San Diego police spokeswoman declined to comment because the shooting is under investigation.

On Saturday night, Oceanside officers responded to a call about a disturbance in the parking lot at the Lowe's store on Old Grove Road near California Highway 76. While officers were en route, dispatchers received other calls about shots fired, Poorman said.

Police found the woman and boy wounded, inside her car, Poorman said. Police would not say how many shots were fired or if the officer used his service weapon or his own handgun.

The police spokesman said the officer was driving his personal vehicle, but did not know if he was outside the car when the shooting occurred.

Poorman said the incident began on Old Grove Road when one driver apparently cut the other off. He said investigators do not know who did what to whom.

Poorman said investigators also have not determined if one driver followed the other into the parking lot.

"We're not sure if there was any contact with the cars, but there was a verbal exchange between the two of them," Poorman said. "The officer feared for his safety and discharged a weapon."

He said White identified himself as a police officer at some time during the incident, but was unsure when.

White was interviewed at the Oceanside police station Saturday night with his attorney and peer support officers from the San Diego Police Department present.

"So far, we only have one side of the story, and we're waiting to talk to her," Poorman said.

Detectives interviewed the boy Monday. Investigators had hoped to interview his mother Tuesday, but they had to appear in court on another case.

White has been placed on administrative leave.

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hgreza@latimes.com

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