You are hereSF Chronicle: I-580 shootout suspect mad at left-wing politics

SF Chronicle: I-580 shootout suspect mad at left-wing politics


July 19, 2010- A 45-year-old parolee, described by his mother as angry at left-wing politicians, opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers on an Oakland freeway early Sunday and was hit by return fire while wearing body armor, authorities said.

Byron Williams of Groveland (Tuolumne County) was taken to the emergency room at Highland Hospital, where he was in stable condition. Police did not describe his injuries. Two officers suffered minor cuts from flying glass.

Williams was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting at the CHP officers and Oakland police said he may face other charges.

They did not release his name, but reporters identified him from the license plate of the vehicle, which was registered to his mother.

The incident started around midnight when two CHP officers tried to stop a white Toyota Tundra pickup that had been speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on westbound Interstate 580, said CHP Officer Sam Morgan.

The officers used a loudspeaker to direct the driver off the freeway, but he stopped on I-580 west of Grand Avenue, Morgan said.

As officers walked toward the pickup, they saw the man pick up a handgun and open fire on the officers, police said. The officers said they returned gunfire and radioed for help.

Three CHP vehicles had their windows shot out, but no officers were shot, police said. They said the driver was armed with a rifle and a shotgun as well as the handgun and fired at least two of the weapons during the shootout.

Morgan said the driver was hit numerous times and survived only because he was wearing a bullet-resistant vest.

Westbound lanes of the freeway remained closed all day Sunday and into the evening while eastbound lanes were closed sporadically. Police would only say that the reason for the unusually long highway closure was to allow officers to collect evidence and investigate the case.

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