Man arrested for Rt. 422 road rage shooting

April 22, 2010 7:55:19 AM PDT
Police have arrested a driver who, they say, shot a woman during the Friday morning commute in Montgomery County.

John Yannarell, 50, is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Police say he shot a woman, identified as Elizabeth Cox, who was driving on Route 422 near the community of Oaks in the eastbound lanes around 7:15 a.m.

Authorities say they were alerted when Cox, of Limerick, called 911. She felt a jolt and thought her car had been hit by Yannarell's as he passed traffic on the shoulder.

Cox pulled over to the side of the road, and thought the other driver would too, but he kept going.

"Moments later she realized her car had not been struck, but she was injured from an apparent gunshot wound," said Sgt. Andrew Skelton of the Pa. State Police.

There is a bullet hole in the rear passenger side of Cox's Ford Focus. It appears the bullet went through the car and hit Cox twice, in her leg and elbow.

She was airlifted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she was questioned by police. Cox has since been treated and released.

Yannarell lives in Gilbertsville and works in Center City. Sources say he showed up for work this morning, but then left.

Police say they were able to track him down using his cell phone and located him at his lawyer's office. His lawyer, Saul Solomon, said Yannarell was about to call police when they converged on his office.

Investigators say Yannarell had the 9mm handgun used in the shooting on him when he was taken into custody, loaded with five live rounds. Officers also say they also found one spent 9mm casing along the road where the shooting happened.

Solomon wasn't able to say much about the case on Friday afternoon.

"I got some information about his version of the story, but I didn't get very much. It happened very, very quickly, our conversation then the surrender," he said.

Late Friday night, Solomon was not ready to offer a defense.

"For me to discuss a defense at this time is very premature," he said.

Meanwhile, in Gilberstville, one neighbor said Yannarell is a bit of a "hot head." However, another neighbor said Yannarell is a nice guy and couldn't believe he was involved in a shooting.

"He'll bring brownies over and stuff like that. To me that's not the kind of guy who's involved with road rage," said neighbor Bob Rossi.

Yannarell is being held on $500,000 bail.

As for the victim, Action News has learned that Cox has retained the firm of Richard Sprague.

While Cox has refused to comment publicly about the shooting, her lawyer, Tom Sprague, released a statement about Yannarell, saying:

"This guy should be fully prosecuted and sued by the civil courts. This is outrageous."