A man has been sentenced to 166 years to life in prison for firing a gun at random people in a car, including a child, mistakenly believing his ex-girlfriend and her “new love interest” were in the vehicle last year in Roseville, prosecutors said.
A jury found Eric Stauffer, 40, guilty of attempted murder and assault with a firearm for the Roseville shooting, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday in a news release.
Stauffer has a criminal history that dates back to 2002. Prosecutors said those crimes included illegal use of firearms, battery of a spouse, robbery, burglary, driving under the influence and multiple parole and probation violations, which resulted in serious felony convictions considered strikes under California’s “Three Strikes” law.
Stauffer was on probation when the shooting occurred Sept. 3, 2022. The Roseville Police Department responded to a report of a single gunshot. Prosecutors said investigators learned that Stauffer had shot at the vehicle while yelling: “I told you to stay away from her... you need to stay away from my girl.”
A 2-year-old boy and his mother were in the line of fire during the shooting, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Stauffer fired the gun at the vehicle, believing he his ex-girlfriend and “her new love interest” were in the car. Prosecutors said he fired the gun at people he did not know “who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.” The gunfire struck the vehicle; no one was injured in the shooting.
Stauffer tried selling the firearm on social media after the Roseville shooting, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
During his trial, Stauffer had many outbursts and yelled at witnesses in court, and he tried to coerce witnesses while in custody at the jail, prosecutors said.
Placer Superior Court Judge Suzanne Gazzaniga on Thursday sentenced Stauffer. He remained in custody Friday at the Placer County Jail awaiting transfer to state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Brandie Huggett, who prosecuted the case, said Stauffer “put multiple lives at risk” in the shooting.
“Mr. Stauffer was given every advantage in life and opportunity to make positive decisions for his future. Yet at every turn, he chose violence,” Huggett said in the news release. “He also proved that he will not stop harassing his ex-partner and anyone who dares to associate with her. We cannot take a gamble on this violent individual any longer. He needs to be removed from society to protect all of us.”