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Authorities this morning identified a man who shot and critically wounded a California Highway Patrol officer on Interstate Highway 680 near Alamo on Tuesday as 36-year-old Christopher Boone Lacy. Lacy, a resident of Corning, Calif., was fatally shot by a second CHP officer after he shot Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, 37, during a traffic stop on southbound I-680 near the Livorna Road exit on Tuesday morning. Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said at a news conference in Martinez this morning that shortly before the shooting, Youngstrom was responding to a report of a dead deer along the highway. He had pulled over to the road’s shoulder around 8:30 a.m. when his partner, who was nearby in another patrol car, informed him that he was making a traffic stop on a green Jeep Wrangler with an obstructed license plate, Lee said.
As the Jeep approached, Youngstrom motioned for the driver, Lacy, to pull over. The Jeep stopped near Youngstrom’s cruiser, and Youngstrom’s partner pulled up behind the Jeep in his patrol car, Lee said. Youngstrom walked up to the Jeep’s driver’s-side window and had a brief conversation with Lacy. “Then, without any warning, Lacy pulled out a gun and shot Officer Youngstrom in the head,” Lee said. As Youngstrom fell to the ground, the second officer, whose name has not been released, saw what was happening and began firing into the Jeep from behind, hitting Lacy and critically wounding him, Lee said. Youngstrom and Lacy were both taken to John Muir Medical Center, where Lacy died. Youngstrom remained in critical condition this morning. Inside the Jeep, detectives found a loaded semi-automatic handgun, two loaded magazines and a knife, Lee said.
He said an autopsy conducted on Lacy this morning showed he died of a gunshot wound to the head. Lee said Lacy has one prior arrest in 2006 in Marin County for driving under the influence, but does not have any other criminal record. Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at Lacy’s home in Corning, Calif., late Tuesday, gathering computers and other items as part of an investigation into his background. Lacy’s parents, who live in Oregon, are cooperating with the investigation, Lee said. By Tuesday afternoon, Youngstrom’s extended family had gathered at John Muir Medical Center. Many of his colleagues joined family members at a vigil at the hospital Tuesday night. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” CHP Sgt. Diana McDermott said this morning. “He’s a man of faith, he’s close to his family, and right now they’re hurting,” she said.
Youngstrom is a seven-year veteran of the CHP’s Contra Costa-area office. McDermott described him as a highly supportive colleague who is often the first to volunteer for CHP cookouts and other events. “He’s the guy that holds the door,” McDermott said. This morning, a cluster of floral bouquets, cards and a balloon had been left in front of the Martinez CHP office on Blum Road. Concord resident Deborah August brought her 3-year-old daughter Julie to the CHP office this morning to drop off a “Get Well” card the toddler made for Youngstrom. August said she was struck by the “callous and careless” shooting that happened so close to home. After her daughter saw a report about the injured officer on the news, August said, she tried to explain what had
“She knows from the uniform that he’s a good guy,” August said. “She seemed pretty sad when I told her he was hurt.” The CHP is shifting schedules around this week to allow Youngstrom’s colleagues time to cope with the shooting and to rally around the officer’s family, McDermott said. “We’re just focused on taking care of the family and each other,” she said.
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