Authorities confirmed last Thursday that a man had been charged in connection to a suspected road rage incident in Lancaster, California in which a 4-year-old boy was fatally shot while seated in the back of his family’s vehicle, CNN reported.
Police arrested Byron Burkhart, 29, and he has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, and five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Burkhart was driving in Lancaster with his girlfriend on December 15 when he allegedly cut off another vehicle in which 4-year-old Gor Adamyan was riding in the back seat. He then “engaged in aggressive driving maneuvers and road rage” before he pulled alongside the Adamyan family’s vehicle and fired 8 shots, hitting the boy, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The 4-year-old Gor, who was struck by a single bullet, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died. His parents were unharmed in the shooting.
In the GoFundMe page set up on behalf of his family, 4-year-old Gor was described as a “bright spirit.”
According to the online fundraiser, his parents were on their way to the grocery store when they encountered Burkhart on the road.
Burkhart’s license plate was captured by a camera in the family’s vehicle. Both he and his girlfriend were arrested following the incident. However, prosecutors determined that there was not enough evidence to charge his girlfriend and she was later released, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Gomez.
Burkhart is being held on a $2 million bond and is expected to be arraigned on January 22.
If convicted, Burkhart faces up to life in prison.
The Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office is representing Burkhart in the case. According to spokeswoman Dana Boldt, the PDO plans to hold prosecutors to the burden of proof and will provide a “vigorous defense” for Burkhart.