RICHMOND (KTVU) -- At least three people have been detained after two people were shot Thursday on Interstate 80 in Richmond, prompting CHP to shut the freeway down for five hours while they investigated.
"This was not a random shooting, we do believe this was targeted," CHP Officer Sean Wilkenfeld told KTVU, at the scene shortly after the 3:30 pm incident.
The eastbound lanes between MacDonald and San Pablo Avenues did not reopen until 8:30 pm, creating huge backups for commuters just as the evening rush hour drive was shifting into high gear.
At one point, a life-flight helicopter landed on the closed interstate to air-evac one victim, a man with multiple gunshot wounds.
His companion, a woman, was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
CHP said both were in serious condition.
The Honda minivan they were riding in remained in the middle lane during the investigation, it's windows shattered by gunfire.
Alongside it was seen a red Volvo belonging to a passerby who stopped to help the victims, according to authorities. That Good Samaritan, who was not identified, remained at the scene to assist investigators.
When the shooting happened, CHP says emergency lines lit up with callers.
"We do have multiple people who were witnesses, and some pulled over and called 9-1-1- from different locations and we've contacted them to get their statements," said Wilkenfeld.
Within an hour, thanks to witness descriptions, a suspect vehicle, a silver Dodge sedan, was seized in a Richmond neighborhood just a few miles from the shooting.
Three possible suspects were taken into custody.
"Any shooting is dangerous, just to be around it, and we don't want people to get involved," cautioned Wilkenfeld, "but we want people to be a good witness and we had great witnesses who helped us make quick progress."
CHP has seen repeated I-80 shootings, more than two dozen in two years, and some of them fatal.
Frequently they are found to be gang-related. It's too soon to say on this one:
"Every incident we handle individually, whether we link them up later is up to the investigators," cautioned Wilkenfeld.
"We're still working to determine what happened to lead up to this shooting, it's still just too early to say."
Law enforcement agencies in the East Bay have been working together on a regional camera system to help deter freeway gun battles and assaults.
The high speed and multiple exits offer a fast getaway and generally no images of the crime.
But Wilkenfeld points out, this time drivers were alert:
"If you want to commit some crimes on the freeway someone's always going to be watching," he declared, "and gunfire is dangerous for everyone, which is why we always want to arrest people responsible for this."