Toddler Dies After Being Shot in the Head by Possible 'Stray Bullet' in Oakland, Says Highway Patrol
A nearly-2-year-old toddler has died after being struck by gunfire during a highway shooting in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday.
California Highway Patrol's Golden Gate Division said in a news release that the child was hit by a single bullet just after 2 p.m. local time while riding in a white Lexus sedan with family on the southbound side of Interstate 880 near Filbert Street.
The victim was rushed to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, where he later died.
His family identified him as 23-month-old Jasper Wu to NBC Bay Area. The family told the outlet that the child struggled to survive but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
Wu's aunt told KPIX 5 that she and other family members were traveling home from San Francisco to Fremont when the bullet hit the boy in the head on the freeway. She said three other children were sitting in the back of the car being driven by the victim's mother.
The northbound side of I-880 beginning at 23rd Avenue was shut down for more than three hours, according to FOX 2. Traffic was backed up for at least five miles.
"Evidence collected on the northbound side of the freeway may indicate the victims were not targeted and the child passenger was struck by a stray bullet," CHP said in Saturday's release.
Details about the possible shooter have not been released.
NBC Bay Area reports that the local Asian American community is stepping up to help the family in their time of need.
"I can't imagine what the family is going through, and what they have to deal with for years to come in terms of PTSD," Leanna Louie of United Peace Collaborative told the outlet.
Hudson Liao of the organization Asians Are Strong said the family "is now changed forever."
"Their lives are absolutely shattered and destroyed because we haven't been able to protect our people in our city and our state at all," Liao told NBC Bay Area.
CHP Golden Gate Division detectives and the Special Investigations Unit are "actively investigating" the shooting.
Investigators are asking for the public's assistance "in gathering information surrounding this shooting." Those with tips are encouraged to call the CHP Investigation Tipline.