Oakland leaders demanding solutions after I-880 shooting that killed 23-month-old boy

Luz Pena Image
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Oakland leaders demanding solutions after deadly freeway shooting
In wake of the deadly shooting of 23-month-old Jasper Wu on a busy Oakland freeway Saturday, city leaders are demanding solutions.

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- In wake of the deadly shooting of a 23-month-old boy on a busy Oakland freeway Saturday, city leaders are demanding solutions as authorities continue to look for the suspects.

It was 2:10 p.m. Saturday when a Fremont family was driving home and a bullet hit and killed Jasper Wu. He was sleeping in his car seat.

RELATED: Fremont family urges suspect to surrender after toddler dies, caught in crossfire of I-880 shooting

"The level of violence on the streets of Oakland has crescendoed to a point we haven't seen in over a decade," said president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, Barry Donelan.

We sat down with Donelan, who said Wu's killing is the second freeway homicide they've had in the last three weeks.

"We hit 119 homicides over the weekend. We had a 109 all of last year and 75 the year before that. Violence is spiraling here in Oakland and continuing to escalate on the streets with shootings," said Donelan.

Donelan's main concern is seeing violence on the streets of Oakland moving onto the freeways.

Luz Pena: "What is happening here in Oakland?"

Barry Donelan: "From our perspective, you have a deteriorating police department. We are down to 681 police officers. That is over 100 less than we were 18 months ago."

Oakland councilmember Noel Gallo believes Wu's family was caught in the crossfire of a gang-related shooting.

"At one time, we had a gang prevention task force within our police department that specifically dealt with that activity of gangs. Gangs right now of Sureños and Norteños and now we have the Mexican cartel of Sinaloa that is present in our streets. The shootings have grown dramatically," said Gallo.

RELATED: 23-month-old boy killed by stray bullet on highway while sleeping in car seat in Oakland

A 23-month-old boy was sleeping in car seat when he was killed by a stray bullet on Interstate 880 in Oakland.

Councilmember Gallo wants to see that task force come back along with more police presence.

"We are in the process through the academy to increase the number of officers," said Gallo.

Another key solution that other East Bay cities have implemented are cameras on the freeways.

Meanwhile, Wu's family is asking for those responsible to turn themselves in.

According to the CHP, there have been 76 freeway shootings in Alameda County over the last 12 months -- most occurred on I-880 and I-580.

CHP is asking anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the shooting, and may have dashcam video or other information, to call authorities.