By Max Darrow
OAKLAND (KPIX) -- In the wake of the fatal Oakland shooting on I-880 that took the life of a toddler over the weekend, the California Highway Patrol confirmed some alarming figures regarding incidents of gunfire on East Bay freeways over the last year.
CHP officials said Alameda County has seen 76 freeway shootings over the past 12 months alone. The majority of the shootings have occurred on I-580 and I-880.
Jasper Wu had a lot of life ahead of him. He was about to turn two years old. His life was cut short, when he was hit by a stray bullet during a freeway shootout on I-880 in Oakland over the weekend.
"My heart goes out to the family, my prayers," said Michele Mikami, who lives in Castro Valley.
Rev. Ramon Price Sr. of Oakland feels great sympathy for Wu's family. He lost his 27-year-old son a few weeks ago -- the victim of another Alameda County freeway shooting.
"People have no more regard for life," said Price, Sr. "It's like everybody has a kill mode, or killing is what is on their mind. They don't care at what expense. They don't care about the innocent people that get hurt in the process. They're just going after who they don't like."
The shooting that killed his son happened in late October in Oakland on westbound I-580. It was not the first time Price, Sr. had buried a son. In 2013, he lost another child -- 17-year-old Lamonte DeShawn Price -- to gunfire in Oakland.
"You never get prepared to bury your own child. It's unnatural," he said. "I really love my son. I miss him like crazy."
Numb and heartbroken already, his pain grew when he learned about the shooting that took Jasper Wu's life.
"My son was killed at the age of 27. He had a chance to live life. This baby was 23 months old. Hadn't even reached his second birthday," he said. "Never even the opportunity or chance to live life. That family will never know what that child was capable of."
Despite the 76 freeway shootings in Alameda County over the past year, CHP Capt. Mike Lehman said during a Monday news conference that people should feel safe on the highways.
"It is scary, but the reason that you should feel safe is that the chances of this happening are not high, and I can also say we are taking action on each and every one of these incidents," Lehman said.
Price, Sr. -- and Wu's family -- are still waiting for justice. But in the meantime, the Oakland reverend hopes to see change.
"The older people need to step in, step up, and try to get these youngsters guidance. The Bible says they're our future. We're losing our future at a rapid rate, and someone needs to do something about it," he said.
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