After Another Freeway Shooting, a Renewed Call for Security Cameras | NBC Bay Area
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After Another Freeway Shooting, a Renewed Call for Security Cameras



    (Published Monday, Sept. 5, 2016)

    One day after a gunman opened fire following a crash on Interstate 880 in Oakland, East Bay officials are renewing their call for surveillance cameras to be installed along local freeways.

    Since November, there have been nearly 30 shootings on Bay Area freeways, most of them concentrated in the East Bay. Mayors from several East Bay cities have lobbied the state to pay for and install security cameras along stretches of Interstate 80 and Highway 4.

    After Sunday's shooting, East Bay residents are pressuring city leaders get to work on preventing another freeway shooting.

    "It has to stop," Mark Ghali, of Concord, said.

    "I’m kind of worried you know – it’s still going on," said Douglas Azevedo, who regularly drives on I-80 in Oakland.

    Just after 5 p.m. Sunday near the High Street off-ramp, the driver of a silver Mercedes hit two cars and then got out and started shooting at another car. Two people suffered minor injuries from the crash but were not hit by the gunfire.

    Hercules Mayor Dan Romero said if cameras had been installed, police could have a lead on the shooter. Romero and a dozen other local leaders have asked the state for $2 million to install security cameras along I-80 and other roadways.

    "Our proposal for license plate readers on on- and off-ramps ... we would have been able to capture that license plate," Romero said. "I think it’s escalating. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand the shootings have gone from one area of the Bay Area to another."

    Romero said Alameda County leaders and Metropolitan Transportation Commission officials may need to get involved now that the highway shootings seem to be moving south.

    "I think we’re all in it together. As far as who pays for the cameras, I think it’s a mix of local, state and federal," U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Pleasanton) said.

    Swalwell said technology will help but won’t solve everything.

    "It’s everyone’s worst nightmare that you could be driving down the road and be caught in the crossfire," he said. "That’s a big concern. I think right now in America there are too many guns."

    Meanwhile, other drivers want to feel safer without feeling violated.

    "Of course, there’s an invasion of privacy issue," Ghali said. "I think they have microphones that can detect gunfire, which might be better because it doesn’t interfere with people’s privacy, but at the same time you’re able to catch people."

    Romero said he is still waiting to hear back from the state Assembly’s transportation committee about the $2 million request, which he submitted two weeks ago.

    As of Monday, neither Oakland police nor the California Highway Patrol had new leads on Sunday’s shooting and hit-and-run. They are asking for the public’s help in identifying the driver.

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