Twenty Eight Freeway Shootings 'Unacceptable,' Five East Bay Mayors Ask for Emergency Funds to Deter Shootings - NBC Bay Area
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Twenty Eight Freeway Shootings 'Unacceptable,' Five East Bay Mayors Ask for Emergency Funds to Deter Shootings

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    The scene of a fatal shooting that caused a car to run off Highway 4 onto a Pittsburg street below. (April 19, 2016)

    Saying that 28 freeway shootings in about six months is "unacceptable," five East Bay mayors along Interstate Highway 80 signed a letter Thursday asking for emergency state funds to buy surveillance cameras.

    The mayors signed the letter to Gov. Jerry Brown at the West County mayors' and Supervisors Association meeting in El Cerrito. The mayors also want Caltrans to update its existing live camera network so they will have the ability to record video to help in the investigation. A pricetag was not mentioned in the letter.

    But the mayors wrote that the shootings along I-80 and Highway 4 have reached "crisis proportions," which is "of increasing concern to those who feel "our communities are under siege." The letter was signed by Richmond Mayor Tom Bates, Hercules Mayor Dan Romero, El Cerrito Mayor Gregory Lyman, Pinole Mayor Roy Swearingen and San Pablo Mayor Richard Kinney.

    "Twenty eight shootings on our freeways are totally unacceptable," Kinney said.

    Romero added that Brown lives in the East Bay. "He knows more than anyone else," adding that he hopes to hand deliver the letter to the governor by the end of this week.

    The mayors' action to get funding for security cameras follows on the latest freeway shooting, this one in Hercules on Interstate 80 Tuesday night that injured a man in his leg. California Highway Patrol officials said four people have been killed in nearly 30 shootings on East Bay freeways since November.

    As the mayors were signing the letter, the California Highway Patrol confirmed they've made a total of five arrests in connection with the freeway shootings since November. A spokeswoman would not say more, including who was arrested or when and where the shootings took place.

     

    Investigators have said that most of the shootings appear to be gang-related.

    Last week, the Pittsburg City Council voted to spend $100,000 to install cameras along a stretch of Highway 4.

     

    NBC Bay Area staff contributed to this report.

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