CHP officer seriously wounded in highway shooting

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) — A California Highway Patrol officer and a suspect are both hospitalized in serious condition Tuesday after they were wounded during a morning rush hour shootout on Interstate 680 near Walnut Creek, officials said.

The shooting prompted the closure of the highway in both directions as traffic came to a standstill. The incident occurred around shortly before 8:30 a.m. after the officer was conducting what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, CHP spokesman officer John Fransen said.

"For unknown reasons, gunfire was exchanged between a CHP officer and a suspect and there may be a second vehicle involved," Fransen told reporters.

Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputies found a 1998 black Nissan Maxima in nearby Danville, Calif., authorities were tracking down, but they still are looking for the alleged driver, 35-year-old Daisi Garcia.

The wounded officer is male, but there was no additional information on him or the suspect who also was shot, CHP spokeswoman Sgt. Diana McDermott told KCBS Radio.

One eyewitness, Gene Russell, told KRON-TV on Tuesday that he heard loud popping sounds while traveling in his car on southbound Interstate 680. He looked under the vehicle next to him and saw an officer down.

Russell said he then saw a second officer shooting at the vehicle.

"I would say he emptied his gun," Russell said. "The traffic continued to roll. My response was, 'I'm in a soft top car. I need to get as far away from there as possible.'"

Traffic is expected to be reopened to traffic in time for the evening rush home.


Information from: KRON-TV.