A 23-month-old boy sleeping in his car seat on the way home from a family gathering died Saturday after a stray bullet hit him in the head, California Highway Patrol officers say.
A bullet penetrated a white Lexus on Highway 880 in Oakland at 2:10 p.m., striking the child, CHP officers said in a news release. The boy later died at a hospital.
The CHP reported the child was 3 years old, but family members said he was 23 months.
A 911 caller reported a gunfight between two other cars on the highway at the time, KGO reported. CHP officers said evidence suggests the boy was hit by a stray bullet.
Two other children were sitting in the back with the toddler, relatives told KPIX. The child's mother was driving them home to Fremont after visiting San Francisco.
The toddler, his mother's only child, was described by his family as "smart and full of life," KGO reported.
"I can't imagine what the family is going through, and what they have to deal with for years to come in terms of PTSD," Leanna Louie with United Peace Collaborative told KNTV.
CHP officers are continuing to investigate and ask anyone with information to call 707-917-4491.