A 29-year-old mother died Thursday after she was shot while riding in a car with her fiancé and two young boys in Oakland near the Bay Bridge toll plaza.
The mother's fiancé and two sons, ages 3 and 5, were not injured in the freeway shooting, the California Highway Patrol and family members said.
The shooting happened at about 9:12 a.m. on westbound Interstate 80 just east of West Grand Avenue, the CHP said.
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Someone shot at the family's SUV, striking and killing the mother, who was identified by family as Amani Morris of Antioch. She was sitting in the front right passenger seat while her fiancé was driving.
Judy Holoman, the fiancé's mother, said it was the 5-year-old who noticed his mother had been shot.
"The 5-year-old actually saw it," Holoman said. "And he asked me, he said, as soon as he walked in the door, he asked he, he said, 'Have you ever seen anyone die before?' And I didn’t really respond. And then he said, 'Mommy had blood on her and the police asked me some questions.'"
Holoman said the family was heading to San Francisco for a job interview when the shooting happened.
"[My son] just heard the shots. He didn’t even know that she was hit," Holoman said. "The little boy said, 'What happened to mommy?' the oldest one, 'What happened to mommy?' My son said he looked and that’s when he noticed that she was gone. Blood was everywhere."
Holomon said the shooting was completely random and is reminiscent of the death of Jasper Wu, who was shot while his family was driving on Interstate 880 in Oakland earlier this month.
"When I heard about that, that tugged at my heart," Holoman said. "He wasn’t even 2."
Morris' grandfather said she was living in Antioch and working to provide for her boys.
"She was doing, I guess, the Instacart thing, and that's what she did," her grandfather said. "And she worked and tried to keep herself going and keep her boys happy."
Alicia Butler, Morris’ mother was drowning in grief and she talked about her daughter from her home in Georgia.
She told NBC Bay Area that she Facetimed Morris just 20 minutes before she was shot and killed on the freeway.
“It was my husband myself and grandkids,” she said. "We were all on the phone and she said I’ll call you later and then I start getting phone calls. I didn’t want to believe it was true.”
Butler said that she was still trying to wrap her head around the shocking details that her fiancé and her two boys watched happen.
“That was her world. She did everything for them. She was a good mom,” she said.
Several lanes of the freeway were closed for hours as authorities conducted an investigation.
Anyone who has any information about the shooting is asked to call the CHP investigation tip line at 707-917-4491.
"The only way that I think that it can be solved is if the public gets involved," Holoman said. "Somebody saw something. Come on guys, it was in the morning."