RICHMOND (BCN) — Two teen boys and a 24-year-old man are being held in connection with a shooting that sent two people to the hospital and closed all eastbound lanes of Interstate Highway 80 in Richmond for several hours Thursday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Richmond police detained the trio, two of whom are 17-year-old boys, shortly after the shooting, which happened at about 3:30 p.m. near San Pablo Avenue.
The adult suspect is Elliot Johnhenry Johnson of Richmond, who was on parole at the time of the shooting and “has an extensive violent criminal history ranging from gun crimes to carjacking,” CHP spokesman Officer Jonathan Fransen said at a news conference this afternoon.
The younger suspects’ names were not released because they are juveniles.
No other suspects are being sought.
The trio has yet to be charged but CHP Lt. Jason Reardon said Friday that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office could file charges as early as Monday.
While the investigation is in its early stages, officers believe the suspects may have gang ties and that they were purposely targeting their victims, not randomly shooting into cars, Reardon said.
One of the juveniles was identified as the alleged shooter and Johnson was identified as the alleged driver, Reardon said.
The motive for the attack is still being determined.
The victims, a 24-year-old woman from San Pablo and a 24-year-old man from Pinole, were taken to the hospital with an undisclosed number of gunshot wounds.
The male victim, who was airlifted from the scene, is in grave condition Friday and the woman is in stable condition, Fransen said.
While the investigation closed the eastbound lanes of the highway for five hours during the evening commute, the arrests came within about a half-hour of the shooting and Reardon said several witnesses, including an off-duty police officer, were able to quickly provide a vehicle description and other information that helped officers track the suspects down in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood.
The shooting is part of a deadly trend involving roughly 80 shootings on Bay Area freeways since late 2015, the preponderance of which have occurred in the East Bay and are also targeted attacks, Reardon said.
Given the millions of people driving the region’s roads every day, it’s still “extremely low” that a driver will be the victim of such an attack, Reardon said.