Saturday, April 29, 2017

Friday Night Headlights

It was 9:30 p.m., long after rush hour. We were tooling along on Hwy 101 North when traffic came to a dead stop. That's when we noticed the electronic billboard--"Northbound 101 closed at Ralston" (we had to get to the exit past Ralston). An unplanned freeway closure--was ist los? It wasn't a good sign that there were headlights of cars coming toward us on the right shoulder. Impatient souls had turned around and were going southbound on northbound 101.

My passengers looked up the reason for the closure: there was a freeway shooting at 5:30, and four hours later the police were still clearing the scene. It took us 90 minutes to travel the six miles to home.

Thoughts: 1) We were lucky that we didn't have anywhere we had to be, like SFO. 2) We were lucky that we had a full tank of gas and no one had to go to the bathroom; 3) Did all lanes of a major freeway have to be shut down for six hours because of a single shooting death (and only minor vehicular damage)? Another example of how real life isn't CSI.

[Update - May 1: Police: Suspect in highway police shooting was attempting carjacking:
The suspect fatally shot by California Highway Patrol officers on Highway 101 in San Mateo Thursday evening was in the process of attempting to carjack a woman at gunpoint, police said.

The suspect, whose identity hasn't yet been released, was attempting to steal the car of another driver, a 55-year-old woman from the East Bay, according to San Mateo police Capt. Dave Norris.

The incident was originally reported as a collision, and the woman was uninjured beyond a complaint of pain from the collision, Norris said.

The suspect reportedly got out of a vehicle on the highway's northbound lanes and began shooting. Three CHP officers responded to the scene just after 5:30 p.m. and engaged with the armed man, police said.

All three fired their weapons, killing him, according to police. Northbound Highway 101 was closed for hours, creating a massive traffic jam at rush hour and beyond.

California Highway Patrol officers arrived on the scene to find the suspect brandishing a handgun, Norris said.

Independent witnesses confirmed that the officers tried to de-escalate the suspect's behavior, Norris said, ordering him to drop the firearm and attempting to negotiate with him.

CHP officers at the scene and responding San Mateo police made efforts to render first aid to the suspect immediately following the shooting, Norris said.]

No comments: