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Turlock man wanted for freeway shooting arrested

A Turlock man has been taken into custody for a freeway shooting that happened in March, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Samuel David Leinweber, 26, of Turlock was arrested on suspicion of three counts of attempted murder, discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, three counts of assault with a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition and for a parole violation.

Around 2:30 p.m. on March 20, officers with the CHP’s Modesto Area office responded to a report of shots fired on southbound Highway 99, north of Fulkerth Road.

The victims, who were not injured, exited the freeway and flagged down a nearby CHP officer and provided the officer with information on the shooter and the vehicle.

It wasn’t too long after the first incident that the suspect vehicle was spotted by a CHP officer on Dianne Drive traveling at a high rate of speed.

Working with the Turlock Police Department officers determined that there were two shooting scenes – one on the freeway and the second on city streets as the suspect vehicle chased the victim vehicle. Since the shooting originated on the freeway, the CHP oversaw the investigation.

Investigating officers identified Leinweber as the suspect in the shooting, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.  He was taken into custody on March 26 at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole office in Merced. 

Later that day, CHP Central Division Warrant Service Team members, StanCATT, and CHP Modesto Area personnel responded to Leinweber’s residence and successfully executed a search warrant without incident.

At the residence, the suspect’s girlfriend, who was identified as Rebecca Lee Tallon, 44, was detained and subsequently arrested for being an accessory to the shooting and weapons violations. She was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on suspicion of accessory to a felony, possession of a loaded firearm, and knowingly supplying a firearm to a prohibited person. 

Investigators located a loaded pistol with a high-capacity magazine. 

“We would like to thank the public and witnesses who provided CHP investigators with critical information that led to the identification and subsequent arrest of a suspect for these brazen and dangerous crimes,” the CHP said in a released statement. “We would also like to thank our law enforcement partner at the Turlock Police Department and CDCR Parole for their assistance and support in bringing Samuel Leinweber to justice.”

Leinweber’s parole violation stems from an arrest in January of 2021 for shooting a woman at a Turlock motel.

The shooting was reported to the Turlock Police Department at 1:23 a.m. Jan. 1 at the Venice Motel at 1114 N. Golden State Blvd. The female victim was found in a motel room with a gunshot wound.

Detectives identified Leinweber as the shooter and arrested him about a week after the shooting. In February of 2021 he pled guilty to the shooting.