Firefighter shot at 30 times in Oakland after wrong turn

- One wrong turn almost cost a Bay Area firefighter his life as someone opened up an excessive amount of gunfire on him in East Oakland Wednesday night. 

"I felt the whole car shaking and I was like ‘Wow, I might die tonight,’" said Joseph Echema. 

He says he was talking on his cell phone and drove down the wrong street before pulling over in the 2000 block of 102nd Avenue in East Oakland. He turned off his car and then felt as he was under attack.  

"I didn't think I was going to make it out. I never felt anything like that in my life," said Echema.  

He says roughly 30 shots were fired, with about 18 bullets hitting his car.  

"I heard so many rounds going off and the power of the bullets that were hitting my car. I just thought it was going to be relentless and I wasn't going to make it out," said Echema.  

Bullet holes can be seen from every angle of the car.  Echema believes the bullet that shattered his back window traveled through the car and hit the front window. Luckily, he was laying down. When the gunfire stopped he decided to make a run for it.  

"I saw him there and it looked like he was trying to reload or do something.  But he wasn't running away so I thought round two was coming," said Echema.  

That's when he turned on his car and drove a little more than a half a mile away to a fire station on 98th Avenue.  First responders treated him for a bullet graze.  

People living in the area say they live in a relatively quiet neighborhood, and Wednesday night's shooting comes as a shock. Residents add that this type of crime is misinterpreted and not a fair representation of those who live here.   

"It's not indicative of what happened last night. I have friends and a girlfriend living there for two years,” said Echema. “It's a diverse community and never really had any problems or seen any problems before.” 

Oakland police have not released any information about a motive or a suspect description.  If you know anything about this case you're asked to give them a call.   
 

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