Bay Area Faces Nearly 200 Freeway Shootings in the Last 4 Years

Bay Area freeway

Bay Area drivers are facing a sharp increase in freeway shootings, with the latest one occurring just last week on northbound I-880 in Oakland. 

Seemingly random incidents have occurred across the Bay Area this summer. The latest incident which happened during rush hour around 6:35 p.m. on July 22, left one injured and shuttered down the highway. The South Bay saw three shootings in just 24 hours, totaling five in one week in June and left two dead, according to KTVU.

Between November 2015 and April 2019, there have been about 190 freeway shootings in total leaving 88 with serious injuries, reported the Guardian. Despite gun homicide declining in the past decade, highways are one of the few areas where it has increased.

Law enforcement officials do not have an explanation of this troubling trend, but suggest that “gang conflicts and the displacement of longtime residents” could be a contributing factor.

“With the displacement and gentrification of a lot of East Bay cities, and cities like San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond, it’s creating this diaspora that’s being spread to the valleys up [Interstate] 80 and Highway 4,” Richmond council member Demnlus Johnson told the Guardian.

Many of these shootings occur at any time of the day, but the deadliest ones usually happen during rush hour, as said in the report.

In one instance one driver heard a loud thud while he was driving, and didn’t discover until upon arriving home that his door had been shot. A bullet fell out after he opened it.

In another incident, a woman saw a white car pull up to her and the driver brandished a gun. After pulling over to the shoulder before proceeding, the car caught up to her again and fired. A 12-year-old passenger was injured from the shattered glass.

A man who wished to remain unidentified, told NextShark that his vehicle was also shot on I-880 north during the day at around 12:30PM.

The man described hearing what sounded like “a sudden explosion from the rear passenger window” while driving in the second to the right lane. He and his passenger saw glass shattering from the window from what seemed to be caused from a “quarter sized hole.” 

He decided to pull over and call the police. Upon their arrival, they inspected the damage and mentioned that it could have been a BB gun, but other drivers had reported similar incidents prior.

The man noted that just weeks earlier, a family member also had their vehicle shot in a similar manner.

Featured image via WikiCommons (left) / King of Hearts (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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