4 fatal freeway shootings that occurred in Oakland since May remain unsolved

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ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Thursday, January 6, 2022
4 unsolved fatal freeway shootings in Oakland in 8 months
The shooting on I-580 on Tuesday that killed a sheriff's recruit marks the fourth unsolved, deadly highway shooting in Oakland in just eight months.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The tragic shooting on I-580 on Tuesday night that took the life of an Alameda County Sheriff's recruit marks the fourth unsolved, deadly highway shooting in Oakland in just the past eight months.

Last May, two people were killed in a party bus on I-580. In October, 23-month-old Jasper Wu was killed on I-880. And in November, an Antioch woman was killed on I-80 near the Bay Bridge toll plaza. It's leaving many asking: Why is it so hard to solve these crimes and how can they finally stop?

RELATED: Alameda Co. Sheriff's Office identifies recruit fatally shot on I-580 in Oakland

"There's a number of different factors," Dr. Cory Lepage, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Cal State East Bay, told ABC7 News. "It could depend on if there's any video, camera footage...that you probably don't have on a freeway."

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called for change on Wednesday morning.

"Oakland is not alone in these senseless, infuriating crimes," she said on Midday Live. "We as a community have got to band together and put an end to the trauma that is plaguing our communities."

Last month, Schaaf sent a letter to Governor Newsom asking for more license plate readers and surveillance cameras on Oakland highways. Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe has also been advocating for more highway cameras.

RELATED: CHP reveals Alameda Co. had 76 freeway shootings in past year

The freeway shooting death of 23-month-old Jasper Wu has resurfaced the conversation about adding more surveillance cameras to Bay Area freeways.

"We can advocate for it, we can yell and scream at the top of our lungs, but the highways are controlled by the state," Mayor Thorpe explained, "And until the state decides to act, we're not going to have the amount of cameras that we need."

Mayor Schaaf says she's hopeful it will be part of governor newsom's upcoming 2022 budget.

"He recognizes the public safety crisis for what it is," Mayor Schaaf said. "He has pledged to work with me and the state legislature."

Dr. Cory Lepage said while cameras can help solve crimes, it's unclear if more cameras equals an easier investigation.

He said untraceable ghost guns are the biggest problem.

RELATED: Could Biden's 'ghost gun' control measure curb Oakland crime?

"There's short-term solutions and maybe longer-term solutions," he explained, "And one of the short-term ones, policy wise, might be trying to get the guns off the streets."

"It could really slow down some of these violent acts," he added.

Both Mayor Schaaf and Mayor Thorpe called on Congress to crack down on ghost guns.

"Cameras go hand-in-hand with meaningful gun reform legislation," Thorpe said. "Cameras can help solve these types of crimes, but the most important thing is to prevent these crimes from happening."

ABC7 News reached out to Governor Newsom's office asking about plans to add highway cameras to crack down on crime. His office sent the following statement:

"Governor Newsom unveiled his Real Public Safety Plan to aggressively fight and prevent crime in California. His comprehensive plan takes a multipronged approach at tackling crime by providing more funding for local law enforcement and prosecutors to combat organized crime and hold perpetrators accountable, expanding a statewide Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit, and supporting small businesses victimized by retail theft. The Governor's plan also focuses on getting illegal guns and drugs off our streets to keep our communities safe -- including creating the largest gun buyback program in the nation. Additionally, the administration continues to review methods and tools, such as cameras, to assist local governments and CHP to strategically deploy more patrols."