California freeway shooting leaves former college basketball star dead

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A shooting on Oakland California’s Interstate 880 has left former Cal Berkeley basketball star Gene Ransom dead, according to local media reports. 

The Oakland Fire Department says that a witness called 911 Friday night after she saw a car veering on the interstate and told dispatchers she believed the driver had a medical emergency. The California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene and determined that the driver, 65-year-old Gene Ransom, was struck by gunfire before crashing his car, according to ABC 7 News.

Gene Ransom (photo courtesy of California Athletics Hall of Fame)

Gene Ransom (photo courtesy of California Athletics Hall of Fame)

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A suspect, 25-year-old Juan Angel Garcia of San Francisco, has been arrested as a suspect in the shooting, ABC 7 News reported Saturday morning. A possible motive for the shooting is still unknown.

Friends of Ransom told NBC Bay Area that he was the victim of the shooting and his high school, Berkeley High, posted a tribute to him on Twitter. 

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Ransom is perhaps best known for playing over 63 minutes in a single game and scoring 36 points in a five-overtime win against Oregon in 1977. Ransom played basketball at Cal from 1975-1978 totaling over 1,100 points and averaging 14.8 points over 80 games. He started all three seasons at Cal before being chosen in the ninth round of the 1977 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.

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Ransom never played in an NBA game and was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

“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,” Cal Berkeley said in a statement. “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.”

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