Mission Viejo man gets 3 years for Ortega Highway road-rage shooting at off-duty cop – Press Enterprise

A Mission Viejo resident who authorities say fired on an off-duty San Bernardino police officer in a road-rage crime on Ortega Highway in 2021 was sentenced to three years in state prison on Monday, Oct.16.

Keith Frederick Prante, 36, had pleaded guilty on July 20 at Southwest Justice Center in French Valley to shooting at a vehicle and being a prohibited person in possession of a loaded firearm. A charge of assault with a semiautomatic firearm was dismissed, Superior Court records show.

The crime happened around 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2021, as the officer headed east on Ortega Highway, also known as Highway 74. He was being tailed by a motorist who was honking his horn, flashing his headlights and “driving dangerously,” the California Highway Patrol said.

The motorist crossed into oncoming lanes to pull ahead of the officer and stopped abruptly in front of his car west of Decker Canyon Road, and then fired at him. The suspect fled east. The officer caught up to him while he was stopped on the shoulder of the highway and pulled up behind him. The man held a handgun out of his driver-side window and backed up toward the officer, who then fired at the suspect.

No one was injured in the shootings.

The officer noted the gunman’s license plate, and Prante was arrested the next day.

The CHP said the officers and Prante did not know each other.

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