Bay Bridge shooting victim shares his survival story

A Bay Bridge shooting victim who was on his way to help a homeless woman is recalling the near-death experience that caused a brain injury.

After spending days in a hospital ICU, Vincent-Ray Williams III said he’s grateful he was only grazed by a bullet just after 10 p.m. Friday.

"I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that I’m here," he said. "I still can’t believe it."

The East Bay man said he was on his way to San Francisco and admits he was driving fast to help a homeless woman, when he encountered a car driving erratically.

Williams said he tried to pass the car, but it quickly followed and at one point cut him off.

"I slowed down, then he slowed down," he said. "I sped up and he sped up and I just kind of hit the brakes."

Moments after Williams exited the tunnel near Treasure Island, he said he remembered the driver alongside him.

Then everything went dark.

"My hands seized and my foot was on the brake," Williams said. "I just remember thinking where are my eyes?"

He did not crash his car and managed to come to a stop in the far left lane near the Harrison Street exit on I-80 in San Francisco.

911 soon received reports that shots were fired on the Bay Bridge.

Williams was rushed to the hospital where doctors told Williams he suffered a skull fracture and had brain bleeding.

Williams said he is in extreme pain and now strapped with several medical bills and is asking for help.

California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.

"I understand being so angry that you can act on impulse," Williams said. "But you got to stop. People got to stop committing crimes against society…because they have some anger that has gone undealt with."

Williams said before the shooting, he was rushing to help a homeless woman as part of his work as CEO of the Urban Compassion Project.

The advocacy group does weekly cleanups to rebuild community trust, but also oftentimes denounced police and Caltrans actions against unhoused residents.

On Friday, William said he gained a new outlook because it was a Caltrans worker who initially came to his rescue.

"That man saved me," he said. "He blocked my car with his trailer and CHP came and they didn’t care who I was, what work I do, they were just there for me and they wanted to save my life. My perspective has changed a whole lot…just on life in general."

Brooks Jarosz is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email him at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU