VALLEJO (CBS SF) – Officials with the California Highway Patrol on Friday afternoon said that there have been approximately 80 freeway shootings in the Bay Area in the past 15 to 16 months in the wake of Thursday’s targeted shooting on I-80.
CHP officials on Friday noted the number of freeway shootings that have been investigated since late 2015 as they offered an update on the shooting and subsequent investigation that shut down I-80 in Richmond for hours Thursday evening.
Authorities noted that the number of shooting incidents with injuries is far below 80, but said that it was still “too many.”
“It’s a high number. it’s higher than anyone would want,” said CHP investigator Lt. Jason Reardon.
CHP said most of the shooting incidents are gang related and targeted, but emphasized that innocent people have been injured in many of the shootings.
Reardon said most of the freeway shootings happened in the East Bay, with many occurring on I-80.
The Thursday shooting was first reported at about 3:41 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-80 at the San Pablo Avenue exit, according to authorities. Two victims were injured with one of the people who was shot getting airlifted from the scene to John Muir Hospital.
CHP and Richmond police detained three people in connection with the shooting an hour after it happened. They were later arrested for the shooting.
Investigators said several witnesses, including an off-duty police officer, called 911 with suspect descriptions.
Reardon said they had not yet determined a motive in the shooting.
“I would hesitate to speculate as to why someone who endanger all these innocent lives on the freeway,” explained Reardon. “I’m not prepared to tell you why.”
On Friday, CHP said it was a juvenile who pulled the trigger in the shooting that left one of the two victims clinging to life.
The male victim, who was driving the car was shot multiple times in the head and chest, is in grave condition, CHP said.
The adult female victim who was riding in the targeted vehicle as a passenger is in serious condition, authorities said.
The suspects arrested include one adult male and two 17-year-old boys.
Authorities said the adult male suspect, later identified as Elliot Johnhenry Johnson of Richmond — is a parolee with a lengthy history of gun crimes and carjackings.
Both of the juveniles are being held at juvenile hall, CHP said.
In addition to being a targeted shooting, CHP said that it was also gang related and that all the suspects in custody were gang members.