I-680 Shooting: Suspect Dead, CHP Officer in Critical Condition

Updated: All lanes of southbound I-680 are finally reopened

A CHP officer is in critical condition and the suspect has died in a shooting along Interstate 680 Tuesday.

KRON 4 television is reporting the officer is on life support at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, but there has been no confirmation on that report.

About 10 members of the officer's family were seen leaving the hospital about 4 p.m. under the protection of security guards and CHP officers.

Law enforcement authorities were gathered all day long in an auditorium at John Muir Medical Center, where both the officer and suspect were brought after the shooting.

The wounded CHP officer has been on the force for seven years and was assigned to the Contra Costa County division out of Martinez.

Contra Costa sheriff's officials said two CHP officers in separate cars had made traffic stops on the right shoulder of I-680 near Livorna Road in Alamo at 8:20 a.m. when the gunfire erupted.

Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said the suspect was seated in a green Jeep Wrangler when he pulled out a gun and fired at the first CHP officer. That officer was critically wounded.

The second CHP officer then opened fire on the suspect, Lee said. That officer positioned himself on an embankment to shoot at the suspect, according to a Walnut Creek-to-San Ramon commuter who was driving on I-680 a short distance from the shooting scene.

Authorities are still investigating why the Wrangler was pulled over. Investigators are analyzing video from CHP dashboard cameras. The sheriff's office is investigating the case using "officer-involved" protocols, Lee said.

A number of motorists who witnessed the exchange of gunfire stopped. They were interviewed by investigators, Lee said.

Meanwhile, a second car that had been pulled over on I-680 at roughly the same time for a minor infraction apparently left the scene. Officers put out an alert seeking that car, a Nissan, "as part of due diligence," wanting to interview the driver, Lee said.

The car was located in the late morning in Danville and officers interviewed the driver, and "determined she was not related to this (shooting) incident," Lee said.

I-680 closures

Shortly after the shooting, both directions of Interstate 680 were closed while authorities investigated the incident.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 680 in the Alamo area remain were closed all afternoon. Two lanes were reopened about 4:30 p.m. and all lanes were finally open again about 7 p.m. The northbound lanes were re-opened about 1 p.m.

Patch readers stuck in traffic emailed photos and commented on the post-Labor Day traffic jam. Some reported taking an hour to go one mile.

Traffic remains snarled along Danville Boulevard this afternoon. Traffic on Main Street and Broadway in downtown Walnut Creek was also jammed.

A traffic map and photos from the crowded freeway can be seen here.

At a press conference early this afternoon, CHP Sgt. Diana McDermott said her department is thankful for "all the calls and concerns" for the officer.

"It's a difficult situation for us," said McDermott. "We've had to really reach out to each other."

Are you stuck in traffic? Snap a photo with your phone and email it to David Mills, david.mills@Patch.com. To read more about what people are saying online about the shooting, click the link.

M. N. September 05, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Guys, do you know anything about Dan H's circumstances? He didn't say if he saw anyone helping or not. He didn't say why he didn't stop. Maybe he was worried about being sued, maybe he didn't stop because someone was already there. It wasn't like it was a thoughtfully composed comment. Don't you think it might be a bit soon to jump to conclusions and make accusations, anonymously or otherwise?
Todd Barnett September 05, 2012 at 02:38 PM
California Good Samariton Law: 2) Except for those persons specified in subdivision (a), no person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care or assistance at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission other than an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. The scene of an emergency shall not include emergency departments and other places where medical care is usually offered. This subdivision shall not be construed to alter existing protections from liability for licensed medical or other personnel specified in subdivision (a) or any other law. (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to change any existing legal duties or obligations, nor does anything in this section in any way affect the provisions in Section 1714.5 of the Civil Code, as proposed to be amended by Senate Bill 39 of the 2009–10 Regular Session of the Legislature. (d) The amendments to this section made by the act adding subdivisions (b) and (c) shall apply exclusively to any legal action filed on or after the effective date of that act. SEC. 2. This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
NoName September 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Why do civilians need guns?! Hunting? Some "Right" of the yesteryears?
SevenMary7 September 05, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Thinking about you every minute buddy.
Chris September 05, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I completely agree Ash! Nothing like adding insult to injury! Very disappointing.
Michelle Kye September 05, 2012 at 05:00 PM
This is just such heartbreaking news. Please keep Officer Youngstrom and his family and friends in your heart and prayers. These officers are out there every day doing a job that I would be afraid to do, they deserve our respect and when one of them falls, it touches us all.
Crowley September 05, 2012 at 05:16 PM
It is clear from the story that there were two officers present. Also, Dan never said whether emergency personnel were on the scene yet. He just said he saw him. Why do people take the first opportunity to make other people wrong and attack them?
The Real Anon September 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Would the government have closed the freeway in both directions if this had just involved private persons? And why close both? There was only an incident on one side of the freeway, not on both sides. Do you think if this had involved only private persons that they would have put up a tent in the middle of the road and had seven or eight people scouring the roadway for evidence and "documenting" the scene? Also someone has pointed out a dead deer at the scene. What happened to the deer?
The Real Anon September 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Please, CHP is mostly AAA with guns. Collecting taxes with citations for ridiculous and victimless "crimes' and responding to accidents.
Mike S September 05, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Dear Donkey, Since you've not been to any sort of an investigator school your questions are valid. Considering the fact that the entire scene needed to be processed I'd hope you would use common sense in judging how much time would be reasonably necessary to carry out the task at hand. Did you think how long it may take to find a bullet entry point in the hillside? Did you think about how long it may take to avoid damaging potential evidence while the processing was taking place?
wake up people September 05, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Idk who's going to read this but everyone posting on here is a joke. If its not about traffic conditions then your bias opinions are irrelevant. Everyone thinks their right, you are all dumbasses. Also, prayers are bout as useful as kids asking their imaginary friends to help.
simone September 05, 2012 at 07:56 PM
How about laying blame where it should be...on the insane lack of vigilance that allows the public to buy weapons online, at flea markets and god-knows-where without proper background checks? Hey, if you think that the Constitution gives you the right to bear arms, you may be right about that. However, it doesn't say anything about the "right to purchase ammunition". Maybe if buying ammunition was banned there would be fewer killing machines in the hands of people to use against each other. I really hope that one day incidents like this will not result in more faceless statistics. Two people, both loved by those in their lives, are dead or dying. For what?
The Real Anon September 05, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Crazy that the government sees fit to create "car pool lanes" which serve no purpose except steal from the pockets of citizens and elevate some citizens above others.
The Real Anon September 05, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Well I don't like to see people dying, that's very upsetting but don't just say "that's life, get over it!" That is defeatist. If our system is stupid and pointless (or outright evil) then we should change it and be outraged that it isn't right, not just "get over it". So the concerns that I think are reflected in this thread reveal that most people are skeptical about the way the government runs the roads, namely that pulling people over for victimless crimes makes the roads safer. Yes, they do have some safety related tasks. But to make it sound like its all in the public interest, well that's just lot of hooey.
Californicated1 September 05, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Let's hope the officer pulls through. We don't need any other reminders out there like this incident and Lavelle Mixon's incident against the OPD back in 2009.
Sheri September 05, 2012 at 09:57 PM
You have got to be flippin kidding me! You are worried about getting caught while speeding, which is breaking the law you know, this is my cousin that got shot doing his job as he was trained. Protecting the public. We don't know why he pulled the guy over. Maybe he was speeding, maybe he was driving a stolen car or drunk or who knows at this point. The point it, if you break the law you should be pulled over, the cops are protecting the rest of the public & he got shot in the process of doing what he swore he would do to protect the public. We have a lot going on here in our family & your worried about the officers that take radar! Get a life!
Dobedefense September 06, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Did you even pass grade school? This is the most ridiculous comment I have probably ever heard. So disrespectful and honestly you seem to have no grip on reality at all. Sad. It's people like you that keep police officers so busy in the first place.
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:07 AM
Why do you say 'an officer got shot' instead of 'a person got shot'. Is a police officer's life more important than the life of another person?
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:13 AM
Get off of your high horse!
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:15 AM
Dear Richard: Your aggressive reply to someone who disagrees with you and, unfortunately to you, has a very good point, shows who the ignorant one is.
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:20 AM
Nicole: This is a free country. They choose that career knowing the risks. I doubt most police officers choose that path because they are heroes; they actually have pretty big egos. About the ones who say the officers giving ppl tickets are just doing their job, there is a difference between those who go at REALLY high speeds and those who are barely over the speed limit and still get tickets bc. they police needs to meet their ticket quota. A police officer said this to me himself. No need to do any reasearch.
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Well said, Onlooker.
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:27 AM
James, I SO AGREE WITH YOU! Like being a cop is being some kind of hero. They are often pretty authoritarian and uncaring.
brennan September 06, 2012 at 08:33 AM
Yes it was a pain to have our commute messed up. Not as great a pain as being shot in the chest however, so toughen up kids, and be glad that the CHP is patrolling the roads and keeping then flowing 99% of the time. The reason (I assume) traffic was closed in both directions was that bullets were fired across all the lanes of traffic, and figuring out who shot when and in what direction is important to figure out when people get killed. Again, terribly sorry you commute was slowed down, thank goodness you survived.
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:35 AM
I will never forget when living in the 'good community' of Danville I had a problem with my car and tried to open the hood and, for some reason couldn't. There were some police officers standing right next to where I was. I got my baby out of the car so as not to leave him alone, asked one of the officers for help just to open my the car hood and, looking at me with my baby in my arms, he said: "Go to a service station" and continued chatting with the others. I have wonderful memories of police officers since then.
pat September 06, 2012 at 08:37 AM
Maybe they closed both sides to find evidence around the cop's and the deer's murder.
The Real Anon September 07, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I concur with GAB. The police cite people for a lot of useless infractions that have nothing to do with public safety. This license plate thing is a good example.
The Real Anon September 07, 2012 at 10:16 PM
(some) Ticket revenue is not only used to support the CHP but also the court system that prosecutes (I would say adjudicates but that is being a bit too generous and not completely accurate) the very citations that the CHP writes. Talk about a conflict of interest!
The Real Anon September 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Why do you need freedom of speech? Ranting on the internets? Some right of the yesteryears?
Mark Tarte September 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Because of two things Ron. One, the freeway was closed due to an officer having fired his weapon and killed a suspect. That has to be investigated to ensure the shooting was both within CHP policy and the law. Two, a murder occurred, yes of a CHP officer, and that too has to be investigated. As far as occupational deaths you mentioned, well, I'm sure within their respective communities they are supported by that community but those deaths are industrial accidents, this one was cold blooded murder at the hands of another. BTW, check your statistics on dangerous jobs. The Department of Labor recently posted its list of the top 20 most dangerous jobs. Yes, fishermen and loggers were near the top but #12 was law enforcement for both homicide and accidents.


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