Shooter targets motorists on Interstate

August 3, 2009 5:22:47 PM PDT
The California Highway Patrol and police in at least two counties are looking for freeway snipers after two incidents in different counties in less than 24 hours.

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One of the shootings took place at the 80-580 Interchange in Albany. The victim managed to drive to his home quite a distance away in Richmond. Another car was hit along 80 in Vallejo. Police shut that stretch of road down for a period of time Monday while they searched for bullet casings.

CHP investigators combed the long, narrow off-ramp to Tennessee Street on foot. They found numerous shell casings, all from different caliber firearms.

The CHP says the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Monday. The female driver of the car, who did not want to be identified, told ABC7 it happened as she was taking the off- ramp.

"I could just see the fire just coming out of the gun and it's directly aimed at the car," she said. "I hear boom, boom and I'm like, 'What is that?' And, I look to my left and it's the white minivan shooting at me and my kids in the car."

She showed ABC7 what appeared to be a bullet hole in her rear left bumper and a flat tire which may have been caused by the shooting.

"We do have some strong leads that we're following up on," said CHP spokesperson Sgt. Trent Cross.

Later, around 4:30 Monday morning, 33-year-old Anderson Silva, a newspaper delivery man, was shot as he was driving his car on I-80 near the 580 Interchange. His friend told ABC7 Silva was shot in the leg.

"He said he felt something equivalent to an electric shock. He wasn't even aware that he was being shot at. He thought it was just noise from the freeway," John Guhl said.

Silva drove himself to a friend's home in Richmond where he called police. He was treated and released from a hospital late Monday morning. Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan believes it was a random shooting.

"He doesn't appear to be somebody who'd be involved in any type of criminal activity or targeted," he said. "And, the way he described it is, he just looked to his left and saw a black male in a white car shooting at him."

Invesigators say they do not know if the two shooting are related. One officer said many of the shell casings they found could be from other unreported shootings.

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