“Evidence suggests these shootings appear to be gang related,” CHP says


The 28 shootings along a 10-mile stretch of San Francisco-area highway over the past six months have led mayors of the adjacent cities to declare that these “murderous activities” have reached “crisis proportions.” Four people have been killed and dozens injured, including a pregnant mother of four children who was shot to death earlier this month.

These five mayors want California Gov. Jerry Brown to fund surveillance cameras along all the on and off ramps of Interstate 80 and Highway 4 along the cities of El Cerrito, Hercules, Richmond, San Pablo, and Pinole.

According to their letter (PDF) to the governor:

Shootings along Interstate 80 and Highway 4 in West and East Contra Costa County have reached crisis proportions. These crimes have resulted in deaths and injuries to not only the intended victims but other innocent highway users. This is of increasing concern to our elected officials and residents who feel as if our communities are under siege and where the use of our local freeways places all of us at unnecessary risk.

These State highways are under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol who have been working with local law enforcement agencies in regard to these crimes. While certainly, we would like to prevent these crimes from occurring, solving these crimes and putting the perpetrators behind bars would also serve as a deterrent. Our freeways have become the place of choice to undertake these murderous activities due to perceived ease of escape and the fact that there are not any surveillance cameras with recording capability to assist in any criminal investigations…

The California Highway Patrol said much of the carnage is gang related. Five people have been arrested in connection to the violence, the CHP said.

“These recent shootings bring the total number of San Francisco’s East Bay Area freeway shootings to 28 since November 2015,” said the CHP. “Evidence suggests these shootings appear to be gang related, with different gangs involved. Gang shootings are extremely difficult to investigate, as victims and witnesses are often uncooperative with law enforcement investigators.”

The latest shooting occurred Wednesday, when the CHP said the victim “sustained a non-life threatening injury when a bullet struck him in the leg. The suspect vehicle was described by a witness as a black Chevrolet El Camino with tinted windows.”

The nearby city of Pittsburg, which is also adjacent to Highway 4, agreed last week to spend $100,000 to fund surveillance cameras on the freeway where there have been several recent shootings.