SoCal father recovering from near-fatal road-rage shooting on 5 Freeway

Amy Powell Image
Friday, January 5, 2024
SoCal father recovering from road-rage shooting on 5 Freeway
Noel Pena's life was saved by a nurse who happened to be driving by and pulled over to help after he was shot.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A devoted father is fighting for his life after being shot on the 5 Freeway during a road-rage incident.

The suspect remains on the loose.

But thanks to help from a nurse who happened to be driving by, Noel Pena is recovering in the hospital and showing small signs of improvement.

The most recent encouraging sign: "They were able to remove the breathing tube but he's going to be there for a week still," said his daughter Pamela.

Pena, a 48-year-old father of four, was shot on New Year's Eve during an apparent road rage incident.

Around 3 p.m. Pena was driving in a Toyota 4runner with his wife and a relative northbound on the 5 in the Norwalk area when he was cut off by an SUV.

Pena honked his horn.

"I think some words were exchanged and then my dad just tried leaving like, why escalate it, just leave," Pamela says. "And this guy I guess drove up to him and shot him."

Pena was wounded but managed to pull his vehicle to the side of the freeway.

The suspect drove away. Good Samaritans, including a nurse, pulled over to offer help.

"There was this nurse who pulled over," Pamela says. "We finally got in contact with her yesterday. She basically did save his life. If it weren't for her he wouldn't be here with us today."

Pamela has started a GoFundMe, raising money to help cover her father's hospital bills and support her mother and sisters while he recovers.

She can't understand why someone shot her father. She says he has always been a kind, caring man.

"He'll do anything for anyone no matter like who it is or when it is. He'll drop anything for anyone."

Noel Pena continues to improve but will need additional surgery later to remove a bullet fragment that is still lodged in his body.