OAKLAND, Calif. - Funeral services were held Friday for Jasper Wu, the 23-month-old boy killed by a stray bullet as his family drove on an Oakland freeway earlier this month.
A Buddhist ceremony was held at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.
Anguished sobs emerged as a group of family members burned a toy plane, a miniature house and other items outside the chapel, in Chinese tradition, with the hope that "they can be delivered through the flame to their loved ones in heaven," said Fremont City Councilmember Yang Shao.
Inside the chapel sat a table with candles and fruit, but also Pocky sticks, candy and a toy forklift truck.
Homicide investigators say Jasper was in the car with his mother on Interstate 880 on Nov. 6 when he was hit by gunfire. They were heading home to Fremont from San Francisco. Jasper was asleep in his car seat when he was shot and killed by stray bullets fired in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.
Jasper's mother, who was driving, was able to stop their vehicle around the Broadway exit. There were two other children in the car, who were not hurt.
"They just couldn't believe how this happened," said family spokesman Carl Chan, president of Oakland's Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. "It could happen to any one of us. Driving on the freeway."
Chan said many at the service became emotional when Jasper's grandfather spoke. "At one point, that got us all crying, seeing that little body, how could he sustain this kind of an impact, from a bullet," Chan said, his voice quavering.
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said, "It is tremendously hurtful when you have to see a child, looking at the photos, as a strong, very spirited, fun-loving child who lost his life to a senseless crime."
The CHP said it believes the boy and his family were not the targets.
Police are still searching for the shooter. A $10,000 reward was announced for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce has set up a GoFundMe to raise $25,000 to help with funeral expenses for Jasper.
If anyone has information, the CHP is urging public members help provide investigative leads to detectives by calling the Golden Gate Division Investigative Tip-Line at (707) 917-4491.