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I-580 freeway closed most of Sunday as police check for bombs after shootout

Thousands of motorists weave their way through Berkeley to reach SF, I-80 destinations

All lanes of I- 580 between Hwy. 13 and downtown Oakland exits were reopened Sunday night after being closed for hours following an early-morning shootout with CHP officers, according to a California Highway Patrol officer.

CHP officers attempted to stop the driver shortly after midnight Sunday morning after observing a white Toyota truck allegedly speeding and weaving through traffic on westbound I- 580 near the Grand Avenue exit.

After conducting a routine traffic stop, the driver did not respond when CHP officers tried directing him off the freeway with their loudspeaker, Oakland police said. CHP officers then approached the vehicle and allegedly saw firearms inside and the driver arming himself. He was allegedly armed with a handgun, shotgun, rifle and body armor.

The suspect, described as a 45-year-old man, allegedly fired at officers as they moved back to their marked vehicles, and CHP officers returned fire, Oakland police said.

Two CHP officers were transported to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries after the exchange.

The suspect was shot an unknown number of times and was listed in stable condition Sunday afternoon, Oakland police said. He is under arrest for attempted murder.

"This person blatantly and randomly shot at our officers without provocation," said CHP spokesman, Officer Sam Morgan.

The CHP officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, Morgan said.

"This was a very aggressive person," Morgan said. "He shot at officers on a freeway that was opened to the public. Clearly his intentions were less than honorable."

Oakland Homicide is conducting a criminal investigation, and the CHP is conducting an administrative investigation into the incident.

After the shootout, CHP officers and Oakland Homicide investigators found a suspicious package along with a binder while searching the truck, which was sitting in the westbound lanes of I-580 west of Harrison Street, Morgan said.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office Explosive Ordinance Disposal Squad was called to assist after the suspicious items were found inside the truck, Morgan said.

A member of the bomb squad who was wearing a protective suit to search the truck could not confirm that the package was non-destructive,

Morgan said. A robot was then used to retrieve the package, which was detonated in the westbound lanes of I-580 near Harrison Street.

Investigators also found a white binder with the word "California" on the front in the truck, Morgan said. Investigators do not know the full significance of the binder.

"It's like a piece of the puzzle," Morgan said.

The bomb squad remained on the scene for several hours but had left the area by 4:30 p.m., Morgan said.

The shootout forced the closing of I-580 in both directions and Interstate Highway 980 and some surrounding exits for several hours.

Eastbound lanes of I-580 were reopened as of around 6 p.m., and two westbound lanes were reopened at around 7 p.m. All lanes were open by just before 9:40 p.m.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by sad day
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm

It's a sad omen to see the level of fear that is now occurring in reality. People like Glenn Bleck say they wanted to insight a revolution ... little do these poor people know they only want to put millions in their pocket and stir up the dumb masses. Let's just hope this isn't a normal course of events for the extreme right and left as we move forward.


Like this comment
Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Obviously this guy was a whack job. A career criminal already with 2 strikes against him. He was obviously up to no good (body armour, really!)and now we know his intended targets. Fortunately for all of us, CHP got to him first!! And, he did all this on a Saturday night, the buildings/employees wouldn't be back until Monday!!Who knows how many would hav been injured or killed in taking down this maniac.

This has little to nothing to do with Glenn Beck. This has everything to do with EVIL. He is a loser who should be spending the rest of his days in a very small cell. That is, unless the ACLU takes up his cause and claims somehow he was 'mistreated as a child'. That would be totally ironic, wouldn't it, considering the ACLU was one of his targets.


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