Santa Clara County

Two South Bay Deaths Prompt Closure of Highway 17 Off-Ramps: Police

Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies responded to two fatalities Wednesday — one in Redwood Estates and the other in Campbell — that prompted the hours-long closure of Highway 17 off-ramps to East Hamilton Avenue.

Just before 11 a.m., deputies responded to a report of shots fired at Madrone Drive in Redwood Estates near Los Gatos. Deputies said the victim suffered a fatal gunshot wound and deemed the incident a homicide.

Two people were injured in Redwood Estates, deputies said, adding that one person was taken to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the second was treated at the scene.

"One male was fatally wounded in Madrone, another person was taken to a local hospital and medically treated with non-life threatening injuries," said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. James Jensen. "An additional person was also transported to a residence by EMS."

Deputies put out an alert for a silver Toyotas Prius seen leaving the Los Gatos scene. It was spotted on Highway 17 near Lark Ave and a pursuit ensued, they said.

During the chase, the suspect vehicle crashed into a wall at the Hamilton Avenue exit. A passenger, who was found injured in the Prius, was taken to Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to deputies.

It remains "undetermined" how the second victim was killed, Jensen said, but it is possible his death will also be classified a homicide.

A man tried to flee the car on foot, but was apprehended a short distance away, deputies said. The man is being questioned by investigators, but has not yet been labeled a suspect.

Campbell police advised drivers to avoid Hamilton Avenue between Salmar Avenue and Creekside Way. Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies were on scene, they tweeted around 11:30 a.m.

All lanes and off-ramps were reopened around 3:30 p.m., officials said.

VTA trains passed through the Hamilton Station, but were unable to stop there due to police activity, officials said. The station reopened around 4 p.m.

Paul Mooney who lives near the hectic and bloody scene in Redwood Estates deemed Wednesday's incident a "very unusual occurrence" in a "very quiet area."

When he heard about the deaths, Mooney said, "Well I'm sorry to hear that because we kind of have a feeling up here that ... that doesn't happen here."

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani contributed to this report. 

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