Police investigate fatal I-80 shooting

April 4, 2008 6:01:29 PM PDT
Police in Pinole held a news briefing on Friday to talk about two shootings that happened this week on Highway 80.

Police tried to reassure the public that the shootings are not random, that there is not a sniper on the loose.

But some drivers are nervous anyway.

The shootings happened on a stretch of Interstate 80. Investigators will not say if the two shootings are related, but they will say it is still under investigation.

What they do say, is that they have found the car which may be linked to Thursday's night shooting.

"You never know what's going to happen so you have to be careful, and we all wonder why these things happen," said motorist Teresa Oceguera.

The freeway shootings have made Teresa Oceguera jittery -- two in three days on Highway 80 just a quarter of a mile apart.

On Thursday night, two people were shot in a car traveling westbound on the freeway in Pinole.

"Somewhere past Apian Way, another Vehicle came alongside of it on the right side and fired into the victim's vehicle," said Commander Pete Janke from the Pinole Police Department.

Twenty-five-year-old Rhonda white died at the scene. The second victim, 24-year-old Donna Ray Allison was airlifted to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek.

All westbound lanes were closed for almost four hours. During that time, investigators found what may be a car abandoned by the shooter.

"We found another vehicle about a half mile eastbound of this location on the same side of the freeway that we're actually investigating," said Commander Janke.

Early Tuesday morning, someone in a black Navigator or Expedition shot and wounded 19-year-old Gary Griffin as he drove on Highway 80 in Richmond.

Police believe that shooting was not random, that the teenager was targeted.

Random or not, the freeway shootings are making motorists nervous. One big concern is road rage.

"I have to play it cool. I mean why have to get angry? Because people could be under the influence of drugs, I mean alcohol, no I have to control myself," said motorist Jose Biffi.

"Yeah, I gave them the finger, beep the horn. I don't do any of that anymore. Don't flash the high beams, nothing like that," said motorist Ed Cox.

CHP officer Sam Morgan can't stress enough the importance of witnesses.

"You can get basic information, vehicle description, drivers' information, perhaps a license plate," said CHP spokesman Sam Morgan.

The two shootings are being investigated by both Pinole and Richmond Police, and that's because those shootings occurred on a quarter of a mile stretch of Highway 80 and it is under two jurisdictions.

One investigator told ABC7 News if you are doing about 60 to 70 miles an hour, on a quarter of a mile stretch on a highway, you are actually only 15 seconds apart ? making that a giant crime scene, and also raises the possibility that the shootings may be related.


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