SAN JOSE, Calif. - Authorities are searching for a serial slingshot shooter, firing at buildings in downtown San Jose. The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office is offering a $20,000 reward to find whoever is shooting metal ball bearings at residential and commercial buildings. It’s happening along Highway 87 also known as the Guadalupe freeway.
Driving on Highway 87 in San Jose, you'll see several commercial buildings in downtown have boarded up windows.
The district attorney’s crime lab on West Hedding Street is one of them. It’s windows have been shot at at least eight times. Shattered glass is visible from the street.
"At first a lot of people thought hey maybe this is a prank," said Capt. Michael Whittington of the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office. "We received complaints, we received victims and hey my glass is broken out but it’s been escalating."
Authorities said it’s happened at least 20 times since March. It’s not only at the crime lab but the Rivermark Towers, tech companies, the SAP Center, San Jose Museum of Art and now people are targets.
"Just a few weeks ago we had an individual sitting in her car and the ball bearings are zipping in and smashing out the windows of her car," said Capt. Whittington.
The woman was in a parking garage and uninjured. They suspect whoever is doing it, is using ball bearings found at any game and hunting store.
"These are the size of a quarter traveling over 100 miles per hour," said Capt. Whittington. "If they can break out a commercial grade building, imagine what they can do to you sitting in your car diving on Highway 87."
Authorities said they have no witnesses, no video and no traditional evidence of gunshot residue and cartridges to help identify a culprit.
Kevin Ung of San Jose wonders if it’s someone letting go of some aggression.
"Aside from the pandemic, there other things going on that’s causing public frustration for sure," said Ung. "It’s one way for people to randomly let go of things."
Authorities said a common denominator is that most are happening along the Highway 87 corridor from Interstate 280 to Highway 101 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
In all, authorities estimate at least half a million dollars in damages.
"It could be an individual on foot, bike, in a car, it could be anyone," said Capt. Whittington.
The district attorney’s office is also reaching out to the homeless camps along Highway 87, asking if they've seen anything. Whoever is responsible could face charges for vandalism and shooting at an occupied vehicle.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.