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CHP Officer Critically Hurt, Suspect Killed In Shooting On I-680 Near Walnut Creek

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Officer Kenyon Youngstrom of the California Highway Patrol. (Claycord.com)

Officer Kenyon Youngstrom of the California Highway Patrol. (Claycord.com)

ALAMO (CBS SF) – A California Highway Patrol officer critically wounded in a shooting that followed a traffic stop on Interstate 680 Tuesday morning is Kenyon Youngstrom, the CHP confirmed Tuesday night.

Youngstrom, 37, is from Cordelia in Solano County and has four children, according to CHP Assistant Chief Paul Fontana. Before joining the CHP, Youngstrom served in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Youngstrom’s extended family is converging on the Walnut Creek hospital where the officer remains in critical condition Tuesday night.

The officer, a seven-year veteran of the department out of the Contra Costa County area, was struck in a shooting that left a suspect dead on the freeway in the Alamo area around 8:30 a.m., CHP Sgt. Diana McDermott said.

CHP officers in patrol cars pulled over a Jeep Wrangler just north of Livorna Road when the driver shot at the officer, Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

A second officer then fired at the Jeep driver, hitting him. Authorities have not said how many shots were fired.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Both the suspect and officer were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where the suspect died.

Lee said investigators are still trying to confirm the chain of events, including what prompted the officers to pull over the suspect in the first place. He said he was not aware of any outstanding warrants for the Jeep’s driver.

The shooting caused a total shutdown of I-680 for a long portion of the day, snarling traffic for miles in the area. The southbound lanes of I-680 where the shooting occurred were shut down for most of the day, with two lanes finally reopening around 4:20 p.m., and the remaining lanes reopened by 6:45 p.m.

Initially northbound lanes were also shut down but opened around 1 p.m.

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Authorities have not yet released the reason for the initial traffic stop, nor the name of the suspect shot dead in the subsequent confrontation. Another car suspected to be connected to the incident was found by investigators earlier Tuesday but determined to be not involved.

Earlier, traffic was at a standstill on 680 in Walnut Creek and on surrounding city streets.

“No one’s moving,” said 19-year-old Kayla McGowan, of Oakland, who got stuck in the gridlock as she was headed to a class at Diablo Valley College Tuesday morning.

Shortly before 10 a.m., she was still stopped on southbound I-680 near the where the shooting happened, and could see the yellow crime scene tape up ahead.

She said she had been in traffic for an hour and had missed her class. McGowan said motorists were getting out of their cars and socializing.

“Everyone’s parked, just outside hanging out,” she said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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