The 18-year-old was driving Monday night on Calistoga Road when he first noticed the large SUV riding his bumper.

In his rear view mirror, he saw the SUV driver brandishing a handgun.

Santa Rosa police said Tuesday the man turned onto Badger Road and other residential streets in an attempt to shake the SUV but could not. On Montecito Boulevard near Mission Boulevard, he was turning his sedan around when gunfire struck his car, leaving a bullet hole in the car’s rear bumper. He kept driving west on Montecito and called police at 8:44 p.m.

Detectives Tuesday were investigating but initially it appeared to be a random case of violent road rage, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Dan Marincik said.

Officers met the shaken driver at Montecito and Alta Vista avenues. He told officers he didn’t know who was behind him or why the road rage occurred.

Police officials declined to release the victim’s name citing the violent nature of the crime and the active investigation.

They searched the area but didn’t find the SUV. Marincik said it wasn’t clear whether one shot was fired or more. Police Monday night said they didn’t believe the crime was gang related.

The motive remained unclear Tuesday, including whether the shooting was a case of mistaken identity or a random act, said Santa Rosa police Sgt. Josh Ludtke, whose violent crime detectives are investigating.

The driver was able to give a vague description of the man, saying he was in his 30s or 40s and had a receding hairline. The SUV was believed to be no more than 10 years old, silver and possibly a Mercedes.

Anyone with information or possible surveillance video is asked to contact detectives at 707‑543‑3590.

Information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter will be rewarded with as much as $2,500 from the Sonoma County Alliance, Marincik said.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.