The search for a gunman is on in Hercules after two people were shot driving east on Interstate 80 near the Hercules-Pinole border around 10:45pm Tuesday night.
Hercules police say a 24-year old man and 24-year old woman were shot by someone in a passing car as soon as they got onto the freeway from Pinole Valley Road. There was another man and four young children in the backseat who were not hurt.
The victims drove their white Pontiac sedan a couple miles to a 76/Circle K gas station off of Willow Avenue where police and paramedics arrived.
A gas station attendant told NBC Bay Area that she saw the man with a gunshot wound to his hand while a woman in the passenger seat was shot in her left stomach area and in her leg. They were taken to a local hospital while family members came to pick up the three kids, described as “very shaken up.”
Investigators went to the stretch of I-80 to check for bullet casings and any other evidence left on the freeway, closing lanes for 20 minutes and reopening before midnight. They also took a copy of surveillance footage from the 76 gas station as a precautionary measure.
It’s unclear right now what the motive was, whether it was road rage, a targeted shooting, or random.
Hercules residents we spoke with said the stretch along Willow Avenue is fairly safe, but hearing gunfire in town is nothing new.
Melanie Mathias, who's lived in Hercules for 50 years, said, “This is pretty safe area right through here, but you always hear gunshots and everything, at least where I live in the old part of town.”
Jeffrey Atkins lives near the gas station. He was taken aback when he heard about the shooting so close to home.
“I think its shocking because this area we don’t really have shootings and that type of thing around here.” When asked about the shooting taking place on the freeway, Atkins added, “That’s even more shocking could be something personal or gang-related, you never know.”
Both shooting victims were expected to recover.