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Motorist dies after Bay Area freeway shootout with CHP officer

September 4, 2012 |  4:03 pm

This post has been corrected, as noted below.

A California Highway Patrol officer is in grave condition and an motorist has died after a freeway shootout in Contra Costa County on Tuesday morning, law enforcement sources said.

The exchange of gunfire took place about 8:30 a.m., moments after the officer pulled over a motorist in a green Jeep Wrangler on Interstate 680 just south of Walnut Creek, said Contra Costa County sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.

The identity of the officer, who is assigned to the Contra Costa field office, was not immediately released. He was taken in grave condition to John Muir Medical Center.

The driver almost immediately pulled out a gun and began shooting at the officer, Lee said. A second officer who arrived at the scene shot the motorist, who was later pronounced dead at the same hospital.

"We are still trying to determine the exact reason for the traffic stop," Lee said.

The CHP closed a section of southbound Interstate 680 for hours as authorities conducted an investigation. Joining the CHP were the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department and the district attorney's office. Northbound lanes were also closed but were open by early afternoon.

[For the Record, 8:04 p.m., Sept. 4: A previous version of this post said that the CHP officer died. Sources say that he is brain dead, but is being kept on life support.]


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