Highway Shoot-Out - NBC Bay Area

Highway Shoot-Out



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    A routine traffic stop concluded in a brief, but intense gun battle between a driver and several California Highway Patrol officers overnight Sunday in Oakland

    Officers say the suspect was prepared for the battle because he was well armed and he was wearing body armor.   The motive for his actions were still unclear Sunday night, but investigators said the man had the potential to injure people, adding they were lucky that CHP officers stopped him ahead of him doing harm to the publci.

    Investigators say the man was hit with bullets several times, but survived because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest.  Two officers were also hurt during the shoot out, but their injuries were not life threatening.  They were hit by flying glass and not bullets, according to investigators.

    The incident began when two CHP officers initiated a traffic stop on the driver of a white Toyota pickup truck on westbound Highway 580 just west of Grand Avenue, CHP spokesman Sgt. Trent Cross said.  Cross said the driver was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic.

    When one of the CHP officers walked up to the truck, he said he saw multiple firearms and weapons, so he immediately retreated and called for back up.  The CHP says the man was armed with a high-powered rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.

    "As one of our officers approached the vehicle, he saw the driver reach for a handgun," CHP officer Sam Morgan told the Oakland Tribune.

      When back up arrived, investigators say the suspect opened fire and a brief gun battle ensued, during which multiple shots were exchanged. 

    Oakland homicide investigators are the lead investigators of the case and call it an attempted homicide.  580 was closed in both directions overnight.  Westbound lanes remained closed into the evening hours Sunday.

    Early Sunday afternoon police brought in a bomb-removing robot to remove a bag of materials from the suspect's car.  They said they believed it contained explosive devices.   The robot also removed a binder from the vehicle said to have the title "California" written on the cover.  It was not clear the significance of the binder.

    The Tribune says the suspect is a 45-year-old man from Groveland in Tuolumne County. He was shot an unknown number of times and is listed in stable condition at Highland Hospital.

    The two injured CHP officers were also hospitalized.  They were not hit by bullets, but flying glass.  Interstate 580 was closed for hours, but reopened by mid-morning Sunday. 

    Someone posted the following video on YouTube from a nearby window in the moments after the shooting. (Warning graphic language)

     This was the second officer involved shooting in Oakland this weekend.  On Saturday morning a man was shot and killed by  Oakland and BART police officers in the city's Fruitvale district.

    In that shooting, police say they received a call about a man walking down the street with two knives saying he was going to go to the Fruitvale  BART station.  When police confronted the suspect, he refused to drop his weapons even after they tased him.

    Police say several officers opened fire after the man came toward them in a threatening manner.

    No officers were hurt.