OAKLAND Calif. (KGO) -- The killing of 23-month of Jasper Wu last weekend on an Oakland freeway has renewed focus on stopping violent crime in the Bay Area.
On Friday a show of unity was made in Oakland's Chinatown which included law enforcement and the announcement of reward money to help catch Jasper's killers.
As the Wu family shares new photos of their son, sweetly eating a meal while clutching scissors and making a funny face at the camera, the Oakland community descended upon the Pacific Renaissance Plaza for a press conference.
The event, led by the Oakland Chinatown Chamber and president Carl Chan, held a strong message, "We all have to wake up about what's happening here."
With the neighborhood's first volunteer safety patrol group, the Blue Angels, looking on, Chan spoke of what he called the third pandemic. Not COVID-19 or attacks on Asian Americans. But on the entire Bay Area.
"Criminals are taking over our streets and freeways," he said.
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong addressed not only Jasper's killing but the city's 119 homicides this year and community fear over freeway shootings.
He also offered these words to other parents who shared similar stories on social media of being scared their own children could be shot, like Jasper was.
"I say to families out there, I know OPD truly knows the impact this kind of case has on the community. Rest assured we have offered every resource we can to CHP," said Armstrong.
Harnessing that determination to find Jasper's killer a $10,000 reward is being put toward group Crimes Against Asians Reward Fund founded by the chamber, Burma Superstar restaurant group and the San Francisco Police Officer's Association.
Nghia Tran of Burma Superstar shared a personal reason why he wanted to contribute.
"I have a 2-year-old son myself and I love him dearly. I drive down 880 frequently as many people in the Bay Area do. To think that could happen to any one of us," said Tran.
While Chan says action isn't just about money, he was grateful for the social media users who reached out pledging thousands more. He cited those who reached out via direct message on Instagram.
"RFRD Academy, pledging $1,500, Keith Tom pledging $5,000," said Chan.
The Wu family asked ABC7 News to extend their appreciation to the community on their behalf. They continue to urge the shooters or anyone with information to come forward so this never has to happen again.
Donations to the GoFundMe account benefiting the family of Jasper Wu has now topped $200,000.
Anyone with information can call the CHP at (707) 917-4491.
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