PITTSBURG - Leisa Baker thought she was facing an aggressive driver on her way home to Pittsburg over the weekend. But the situation soon turned potentially deadly when the passenger in the car next to her on Highway 4 pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Baker was unharmed. She said a bullet barely missed her minivan with her 13-year-old daughter and niece inside thanks to her evasive driving. But she still can't shake the thoughts of what could have happened.
"I’ve never experienced somebody pointing a gun at me to shoot me – never," Baker recounted in an interview with KTVU on Monday. "You just think of your life flashing in front of you."
The episode is just the latest in a spate of freeway shootings that have motorists on edge and investigators with the California Highway Patrol working to find the shooters.
There have been three reported shootings in the last five days and arrests in none of the cases. CHP officials confirm they're looking into Baker's case but haven't identified any suspects.
It began around 5 p.m. Saturday when Baker said an aggressive driver in a burgundy Honda SUV approached her in the fast lane from behind. When she moved over, she said the SUV did the same and someone threw a cup of liquid out of the window. That is when things escalated.
"The young woman who was in the passenger side. She rolled down the window and displayed a gun," Baker said.
She hit the brakes and a bullet missed her van.
"I was breaking and ducking for cover, and it was the most traumatic experience that I’ve ever experienced in my life," she said.
Baker said everyone in the car called 911 – but by the time officers arrived, the driver and gun-wielding passenger were long gone.
Another vehicle wasn't so lucky a day later.
The CHP on Monday revealed more details about a shooting on Interstate 580 in Oakland near Highway 13 on Sunday.
Officials say two people in a Nissan SUV were hit when an unidentified shooter fired multiple rounds into the vehicle.
CHP officials said the victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.
And on Thursday, investigators closed all lanes of I-580 in Livermore due to gunfire on the highway. A victim in that case was expected to survive.
Baker, meanwhile, is still processing what happened to her. And wants the shooter off the streets.
"You try to stay away from that, but it’s not even safe to honk your horn at people."
Evan Sernoffsky is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email Evan at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EvanSernoffsky