Antelope Valley Press

Man charged in road rage killing of boy


Byron Burkhart is charged in a road rage shooting that killed a 4-year-old boy who was traveling in a motor vehicle with his mother and father Friday evening in Lancaster, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday.

“Our hearts ache for the tragic loss of a young life in such a devastatin­g and senseless act of road rage,” Gascón said. “A family is facing unimaginab­le pain during what should be a joyous time this holiday season.”

Burkhart is charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of shooting at an occupied vehicle and five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon — prior(s).

It is further alleged that Burkhart personally used a handgun in the commission of the crime.

Burkhart is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 22 in Department A1 at the Antelope Valley Courthouse.

On Dec.15, Burkhart, was travelling with his girlfriend when he allegedly cut off the victims’ vehicle while they were driving in the 44600 block of Sierra Highway in Lancaster. The victim’s father was driving the other car when Burkhart allegedly engaged in aggressive driving maneuvers and road rage.

Burkhart allegedly pulled alongside the victims’ vehicle, where he used a firearm to fire eight shots into their car. The 4-year-old boy, who was in the backseat of the car, was struck once. The other two passengers were not struck by the gunfire. The boy was transporte­d to a nearby hospital, where he died.

A GoFundMe account set up for the family to help with funeral expenses raised $62,159 as of Tuesday afternoon.

The victims’ vehicle’s camera allegedly captured Burkhart’s vehicle’s license plate during the incident.

The prosecutio­n is recommendi­ng that Burkhart be held on $5.075 million-dollar bail.

If convicted as charged,

Burkhart will face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The case was investigat­ed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The department also refuted reports that Burkhart had been booked on suspicion of a gun-related incident and was released on the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s zero bail policy. “This report is false,” the department said.

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