10:43 PM CDT on Friday, April 17, 2009
By NOELLE NEWTON
Tips lead Austin Police to a man accused of shooting at cars along Southwest Parkway since 2007.
Darren Inberg, 48, has been charged with deadly conduct.
"What could've happened is very scary to me. [We] very easily could've had a fatal collision due to this. We're just very lucky we caught him in time,” said APD Detective Adam Masters.
Police say Inberg was planning to skip town when he was arrested Friday. He's accused of shooting a pellet gun at the driver’s side doors and windows of westbound traffic on Southwest Parkway. The shootings would occur early in the morning between one and three. It's been happening since 2007 and reports keep coming in.
"I suspect it will be well over mid-20s by the time it's said and done,” Masters said.
One of Inberg's alleged victims is APD Sgt. Diane Leija, who was struck on her way home from a late night shift.
"It kind of jarred my body. I had my arm on the arm rest. I think to myself how very lucky I am that it didn't penetrate my car two inches higher because if it had it definitely would've imploded my window and hurt me,” Leija said.
Masters says there was at least one injury. An on-duty Bee Caves officer's window was shot out and glass got into his eyes. That charge will perhaps be the most severe for Inberg. Detectives still don't know a motive.
"In our discussion with him, he's very well mannered, very well spoken, and yeah, it’s got me stumped too. But, I have no doubt he’s responsible,” Masters said.
Inberg is in jail on a $50,000 bond.