Family Shot While Helping Oakland Homeless

Mom, dad and child struck by bullets overnight in Oakland.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A family trying to do some good work was shot overnight in Oakland.

    Oakland police responded to a shooting in the 1000 block of 47th at 12:33 a.m. and found at least two shooting victims inside a van.

    Police said a man and a woman were with their two young children and were handing out food to the homeless when they were shot. Police said the family had just pulled to the side of the road when an unknown suspect pulled up alongside them and opened fire on their van.

    The family lives in East Oakland and often handed out food at night. People who know the family said most of the time the father went alone on these kind of trips, but last night he had his wife and two children with him.

    Police said the woman's injuries were considered minor, but the man suffered a life threatening wound and remains in critical condition at an area hospital Wednesday.

    Police sources told NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez that the couple's three-year-old child was also shot. That little girl reportedly suffered a bullet wound that went through her arm.

    NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez spoke to a homeless person in Oakland Wednesday who told her that the victims were well known in the homeless community. He said they often passed out food in East Oakland. Tony Wright said they were handing out fish and chips when the shooting happened.

    He said the male victim's name was John and that he often gave him food. Wright said when John would see him on the street, he'd roll down his window, hand him a bag of food and then say a prayer.

    "Why did it have to happen to him," a tearful Wright asked.

    Wright called John a "man of God" and says he now fears the shootings will make others reluctant to come out and help those in need.

    William Holloway (pictured), another person who knew the family, said they had just handed him food when the shots were fired.

    A citizen flagged down a passing CHP officer to report the shooting.

    Police do not have a motive for the shooting, nor any suspects.