Man arrested for shooting at driver in Atascadero

Steven Ladwig

An Atascadero man who had been pretending to be a law enforcement officer allegedly fired a shot into the vehicle of a woman attempting to get away from him, police said.

On April 11, at 2:20 a.m., police responded to reports of a shooting in the area of Buena Fortuna Circle and Avenida Maria in Atascadero and found a female who said she had been sitting in her vehicle when she was approached by a man. The man shined a flashlight into the vehicle, identified himself as a law enforcement officer and displayed a handgun, the victim said.

The woman questioned the man’s identity, and fearing for her safety, immediately drove off. 

As the woman drove away, the man fired one shot that struck the victim’s vehicle. The bullet traveled through the taillight of the car, into the passenger side of the vehicle and ultimately struck the woman in the shoulder. However, the bullet did not penetrate the woman’s skin because the velocity of the round had slowed as it traveled through through the trunk of the vehicle, as well as a seat.

Detectives investigated the shooting, developed a lead and identified the shooter as Steven Ladwig, 65. 

On Wednesday, detectives served a search warrant in the 10000 block of Los Pueblos in Atascadero. Officers contacted Ladwig, interviewed him and seized items of evidence related to the shooting.

Following the search, detectives arrested Ladwig on felony charges of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle. 

Officers booked Ladwig into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. He is not currently listed as being in custody, according to the county sheriff’s office website. 

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