A motorist who allegedly reached for a gun was shot by a California Highway Patrol officer providing cover for two colleagues who were trying to remove the suspected drunken driver from his car.
The officer-involved shooting occurred along southbound Interstate 5 about 11:30 p.m. Monday between Main Street and County Road 102 in Yolo County near Woodland.
An officer saw a sedan and two motorcycles stopped on the shoulder of the freeway. One of the motorcycles was having a mechanical problem that eventually was fixed.
The motorcycles drove away but the officer noticed while talking to the driver of the car that he might be drunk, according to CHP spokesman Officer Brian Konvalin. The officer requested assistance from other officers to join him in evaluating whether the driver was intoxicated.
The driver refused to get out of his sedan for the evaluation so two officers tried to remove him from his vehicle. Standing on the passenger side of the vehicle, an officer covering the extrication of the man saw the driver reach for a handgun, said Konvalin.
“Two officers were on the driver’s side, attempting to take the suspect into a control hold to remove him from the vehicle,” said Konvalin. “Before they were able to gain control of the suspect, he reached for a gun that the cover officer was able to see from the passenger side. Fearing for his life and the life of the other officers, the cover officer fired into the vehicle, striking the suspect.”
The driver was then given medical aid by the officers before being airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center. No officers were hurt.
The right lane of southbound I-5 was closed until about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday for an investigation into the incident.