A suspect is dead and a California Highway Patrol officer remains in critical condition in the wake of a shooting that stemmed from a traffic stop on Interstate Highway 680 this morning, a sheriff’s spokesman said. Southbound I-680 remains closed in the Alamo area this afternoon as authorities continue to investigate the incident, which initially shut down the highway completely.
The northbound lanes reopened shortly before 1 p.m. Authorities are hoping to reopen the southbound lanes by 5 p.m., Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said at a news conference held at the Rudgear Road park-and-ride lot this afternoon. The shooting happened around 8:30 a.m. after two CHP officers in separate patrol cars pulled over a southbound green Jeep Wrangler just north of Livorna Road, Lee said. As one officer got out of his car and approached the Jeep, the driver, who was alone in the vehicle, “pulled out a gun and shot at that officer, severely injuring him,” Lee said.
The second officer then fired at the Jeep’s driver, hitting him. Authorities have not said how many shots were fired. Both the wounded officer and the suspect were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where the suspect died. The officer remained in critical condition as of 2 p.m. Authorities have not released the name of the officer or the deceased suspect. Lee said investigators are still trying to confirm the chain of events, including what prompted the officers to pull over the suspect in the first place.
He said he is not aware of any outstanding warrants for the Jeep’s driver. Authorities initially said they were looking for a second vehicle in connection with the incident, a black Nissan Maxima driven by a woman. The car was found in Danville and the woman was interviewed, and investigators now believe she has no connection to the shooting. “It has been determined that she is not related to this incident whatsoever,” Lee said.
He said the woman had been pulled over for talking on her cellphone somewhere nearby a short time before the officers stopped the Jeep Wrangler. Investigators were initially looking into the possibility that she had some connection to the shooting, but that possibility has been ruled out, Lee said. Because the shooting happened during the morning commute, there were a number of eyewitnesses who stopped near the scene to provide authorities with information, Lee said. He also said the shooting was recorded by a camera attached to the dashboard of one of the CHP patrol cars, and that investigators will be reviewing the footage.
Lee said evidence gathering is continuing at the scene this afternoon. “Unfortunately, this is a time-consuming process,” he said. The incident is being investigated by the CHP, the sheriff’s office and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
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