The California Highway Patrol’s Oakland branch spent Sunday afternoon and evening investigating a possible freeway shooting in Oakland, in the midst of a violent weekend in which nine people were shot, including a 15-year-old girl who was killed.
Around 3:50 p.m. Sunday, the CHP says they received multiple 911 calls saying there was a shooting on I-580, close to Highway 13 near Mills College. Troopers closed the westbound lanes of the interstate to investigate, sending traffic off of Highway 13 instead.
The CHP confirmed Monday afternoon that two people were struck by gunfire in that incident. The agency says a Nissan Murano with multiple people inside was headed westbound on the I-580 when another car pulled up beside it and someone in that car started shooting.
A man who says he witnessed the shooting spoke with KTVU.
"This guy sat on the door, put his arms up over the hood, and very clearly I saw what looked like a couple of semi-automatic weapons, certainly sounded like it," the man, who asked to remain anonymous, told KTVU’s Zak Sos. "I could very clearly see the windows breaking on this car. I could see shells hitting the ground."
That man tells KTVU that the shooting happened about three cars in front of him as he was passing the MacArthur Boulevard exit. He says he saw someone using what he believes were two different guns to fire at a Nissan, and does not believe the driver of the Nissan returned fire.
"My first thought is, number one I’ve got two little boys in the back seat. I don’t want them to be in the line of fire of this, so I’m trying to back off," the driver explained.
The two people who were hit by gunfire were both taken to the hospital, and the CHP says they were treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Another father, Jonah Freedman, told ABC7 he witnessed the shooting with his five-year-old and seven-year-old sons in the backseat.
"Looked like he had two semi-automatic weapons in his hands and unloaded on the SUV. Just two lanes over, he was in the fast lane and completely unloads, it seemed like several, like an entire clip, I remember very clearly seeing shells hitting the ground," Freedman told ABC7.
Sos witnessed several CHP officers parked around a compact hatchback riddled with bullet holes on the I-580. The front passenger window had what appeared to be at least six bullet holes in it, along with a damaged mirror on the passenger side. The passenger and driver’s side windows in the back also appeared to be shot out.
A man who lives in a neighborhood by the area where the shooting allegedly happened, David Erdelyi, says he believes he heard as many as 20 gunshots, possibly more, within just a few seconds. Moments later, he says sirens rang out and CHP officers flooded the interstate.
"I kind of hid behind the boat for a second in case there's some cross action. You know I even told one of the CHP officers that that must have been automatic gunfire because there was a lot of bullets being shed in less than three seconds."
I-580 reopened on Sunday night around 8:00 p.m. The suspect vehicle sped off and is still missing. The CHP didn't provide any description of that car or the person or people inside.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the
CHP Investigative Tip Line at (707) 917-4491.
Photo: Scott Rodgerson