A woman who allegedly shot at random vehicles while running nude along a Bay Area freeway last week pleaded not guilty to a slew of felony charges at her arraignment on Tuesday.
Sacramento resident Sequoia Dunkinsell, 32, was charged with four counts of brandishing a firearm, three counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count each of shooting at an occupied vehicle, making criminal threats, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm and reckless driving, the San Francisco district attorney announced.
Dunkinsell was booked July 28 and is in county jail. She faces more than 22 years in state prison, according to the district attorney, and is due back in court on Aug. 11 for a preliminary hearing.
“I am grateful that there was no loss of life in connection to this incident and to the California Highway Patrol for successfully de-escalating, disarming and apprehending Ms. Dunkinsell,” San Francisco Dist. Atty. Brooke Jenkins said in a statement Tuesday.
CHP officers responded to reports of an armed and reckless driver heading east along Interstate 80 near the San Francisco-Oakland border on July 25 shortly after 4:40 p.m.
The woman stopped and vacated her vehicle, which was straddling lanes of traffic, and got out with a knife, according to officers. She proceeded to yell at nearby drivers, then returned to her car and continued driving.
As she passed a toll plaza, she again stopped her car, blocking traffic, before getting out completely naked, according to officers.
Social media posts showed the nude woman firing from the shoulder of the freeway with a pistol and then walking across lanes of traffic.
CHP spokesperson Andrew Barclay said he was only aware of “one handgun” used by Dunkinsell. Barclay did not know the total number of rounds dispersed.
Dunkinsell allegedly fired her weapon until she ran out of ammunition. Officers said there were no injuries or damage to vehicles reported.
By 6 p.m., officers had arrested the woman, who dropped her gun, the D.A. said.
“The incident on the freeway was terrifying and endangered the lives of countless commuters,” Jenkins said. “We will do everything in our power to ensure that there is appropriate accountability.”
Barclay said Dunkinsell was taken to a hospital immediately for a medical and psychiatric evaluation.
The freeway was partially closed for nearly an hour and a half.