Lanes Open Following Daylong Investigation into I-580 Shooting
OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) After a 22 hour closure, westbound Interstate 580 in Oakland was finally reopened Sunday night after authorities completed a daylong investigation into a wild shootout involving CHP officers.
CHP spokesman Sergeant Trent Cross said the protracted gunfight began late Saturday night around midnight when CHP officers pulled over a man who was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 580 near Grand Avenue.
The driver, who has been identified by the San Francisco Chronicle as 45-year-old Byron Williams of Groveland, opened fire on the officers as they approached his truck.
Cross said they returned fire. The ten officers that were on the scene hit the man several times, wounding him seriously.
Authorities said at least 60 rounds were believed to be fired.
It was later determined the man was wearing body armor and he suffered serious injuries during the shootout. He is currently in serious, but stable condition at a local hospital.
Two officers also suffered minor injuries from flying glass.
Investigators found a high powered rifle, shotgun and handgun in the vehicle.
They also found several suspicious items and Cross said that led them to call in the Alameda County Sheriff’s bomb squad and FBI to assist with the investigation.
The bomb squad ended up detonating several items, but concluded that there were no explosives in the vehicle.
Williams has an extensive criminal history with at least two felonies and Cross said he could face life in prison if convicted.
Law enforcement sources said he also had a history of showing he is both anti-government and anti-corporation and against liberal causes.
He was arrested Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder.
Traffic Problems for Commuters
Traffic on Interstate 580 proved to be difficult throughout the entire day on Sunday.
Authorities closed both directions of I-580 in the area through much of the morning to investigate the shooting.
Eastbound lanes were opened and then closed again following the discovery of the suspicious items in the vehicle. That side of the highway was officially reopened around 3:30 p.m.
Westbound traffic was closed for almost 22 hours before all lanes were finally reopened shortly before 10 p.m.
CHP officials said they understood the frustration of motorists, but needed to do a thorough investigation of the area before reopening it to traffic.