So Sad: California Golden Bears Basketball Legend Gene Ransom Killed in Oakland Interstate Shooting

UC Berkeley basketball legend Gene Ransom was killed in a highway shooting in Oakland, Calif., on Friday.

via People:

Family and friends have confirmed that Ransom was the man that died Friday evening after being struck by gunfire while traveling on Interstate 880, according to NBC Bay Area, KTVU, and ABC7.

On Saturday, the California Highway Patrol’s Oakland division announced that Juan Angel Garcia, 25, of San Francisco, had been arrested for the crime. 

Inmate records viewed by PEOPLE show Garcia was taken into custody for first-degree murder on Saturday just before 10 a.m. local time. He was booked that afternoon at the Alameda County Santa Rita Jail and is being held without bail.

Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, per his inmate record.

Thaxter Ransom, Ransom’s son, remembered his father’s legacy in a statement obtained by ABC7, calling him “a great man” that had “a major influence in the East Bay Area community” during his lifetime. 

“He showed love to everyone he met and came across sometimes as a flirt. That was him, Gene ‘the dream’ Ransom,” said Thaxter, per the outlet. “He opened the door for future basketball stars who came out of the Bay Area. He was looked up to and loved by many. I’ll never forget him, and will always love him.”

The CHP said the incident occurred around 5:15 p.m. local time on Friday on the northbound side of I-880 north of Oak Street. The victim, believed to be Ransom, was allegedly traveling on Garcia’s left side when the suspect fired a gun at the victim’s black Honda Civic.

The victim veered right and collided with a guardrail before coming to a stop, per Saturday’s statement. Meanwhile, Garcia “immediately fled the scene” of the crime.

Responding officers pronounced the victim dead at the scene, the CHP said. He is believed to have been the only person inside the Honda during the shooting.

Cal Athletics addressed the reports of Ransom’s death in a statement obtained by KTVU and extended condolences to the former athlete’s family.

“We are shocked to hear the reports that Cal Athletics Hall of Famer Gene Ransom has been identified as a victim in a deadly freeway shooting,” the statement said. “Our thoughts are with Gene’s family and friends for this tragic loss. Gene was one of the greatest players in our men’s basketball program’s history, and he will be greatly missed.”

At Cal, Ransom averaged 14.8 points per game (1,185 points total) in over 80 contests between 1975 and 1978, Sports Illustrated reports. He averaged 17 points per game during his third and final season with the team.

In 1977, Ransom was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the ninth round of the NBA Draft, though he never played a game in the league, per SI. In 2001, Ransom was inducted into the California Athletics Hall of Fame.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the CHP Investigation Tip Line at (707) 917-4491.

So sad.

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