Family friend speaks about freeway shooting that took 5-year-old girl's life

A family friend of the five-year-old girl shot and killed on I-880 this past weekend is talking about what happened that night. California Highway Patrol says they’re still looking for suspects and information. 

This was just a family trying to enjoy a night out, when they were blindsided by gunfire that took the life of five-year-old Eliyanah. 

"We’re still all in shock. We don’t understand. It’s still unreal," said Ashley, a friend of the family. 

On the day before Easter Sunday, five-year-old Eliyanah was riding in the car with her family, when she was hit by a stray bullet. The family was heading to a birthday celebration on southbound 880 near the Dixon Landing exit when gun shots rang out. Ashley, who has known Eliyanah’s mother for nearly a decade, says the family is devastated. 

"No father should ever have to drive a vehicle that their daughter was shot at and killed. No mother should have to bury their child at five-years old," Ashley said.  

CHP, Fremont and Santa Cruz police departments were all involved in the investigation Saturday night. Police suspect another shooting Saturday may be related to Eliyanah’s killing. Santa Cruz Police also say they stopped a car they believed to be connected to the shooting on 880 and arrested three people.

"I think we’re sending the wrong message to especially the young people. When people are seeing there are no consequences or even using guns would be OK, then we’re starting to see more and more shootings on the freeway," said Carl Chan, an Oakland Community Activist. 

SEE ALSO: CHP searching for suspects in East Bay freeway shooting that killed 5-year-old girl

In 2021, there were 144 shootings on Bay Area freeways. Nearly 70% of those shootings happened in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Now this year, another Bay Area family is grieving the loss of an innocent loved one and trying to pick up the pieces after a deadly freeway shooting. 

"It’s all just about being there and rallying around the family right now," Ashley said.  

Police have not determined if the three people arrested are involved in this shooting, and they say they’ll continue looking for suspects and information. If anyone has any information, they can contact the California Highway Patrol.