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Service Dog Dies After East Bay Freeway Shooting

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A service dog that was shot in a car on Interstate 980 in Oakland on Friday has died, the dog's owner said Sunday morning.

The shooting was reported at 7:34 p.m. Friday near the eastbound freeway's intersection with Interstate 580. David Freitag, a San Leandro resident, was driving the dog, named Layla, to Walnut Creek in a silver Hyundai Sonata rental car when the shooting occurred.

"And there was a loud explosion and glass was flying everywhere, and I saw that I was bleeding. You can tell…and I pulled over, and she was whimpering, and I was bleeding and kind of in shock," said Freitag.

Freitag suffered lacerations from broken glass. Layla, who was standing on the console of the car when the bullets pierced the window, was struck on the shoulder by gunfire.

Linita Nakaya, Freitag's friend and the owner of the 4-year-old Basenji mix, said the decision was made Sunday morning to end the dog's suffering as her prospects for recovery were not promising.

Layla was gravely injured with damage to her spine and nervous system.

"It's breaking my heart and the thing is… it's costing an extreme amount of money for one and a half days–over $5,000," said an emotional Nakaya.

Freitag quickly created a GoFundMe page for Layla, which raised $2,500 in just 14 hours. Nakaya, who suffers from PTSD, said that Layla had been a godsend in helping her cope.

"And she's been wonderful and she's been…people love her in Alameda, where I live. They would just come and talk to her. She talks to everybody. She's like the welcoming committee everywhere I go," said Nakaya.

The Alameda resident said that after her previous service dog died last October, she fostered and then adopted Layla, who brought her considerable emotional support. "She was the brightest spirit," she said.

"She gave love to everyone."

Freitag wanted to know why the unfortunate situation happened at all.

"I'd like to know why people do these things. I have no enemies. Why would someone shoot at me? Why would someone shoot at anybody, especially when they can see there's a really nice dog in the car?" he asked.

Police continue to investigate the shooting and search for suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP at (800) TELL-CHP.

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