Crime - Sacto 911

CHP reports suspected gunshots on I-80 were engine backfires

Two men detained last week after a California Highway Patrol officer reported possible shots fired at him during a traffic stop have been cleared.

An investigation determined that the sounds first thought to be gunshots were engine backfires from the truck in which the men were traveling, according to a CHP news release.

The incident occurred about 9:55 a.m. Jan. 16 as a 26-year veteran CHP officer was on a traffic stop with a big rig on the right shoulder of westbound Interstate 80 at Nevada Street in Auburn. While the officer was out of his vehicle, he heard what he thought were multiple gunshots. The officer determined that the source of the sound was a passing box truck.

The officer broadcast a description of the truck on the CHP radio, and about 10 minutes later, another CHP officer located the vehicle westbound on I-80 near Sierra College Boulevard in Rocklin. The truck was stopped and the two occupants, both of Grass Valley residents, were briefly detained for questioning. CHP officials said both men were cooperative and were voluntarily interviewed at the Auburn CHP office. They were released later that day and no charges were filed. The truck also was released later in the day.

The investigation, still in the later stages of review, revealed that the sounds were a series of engine backfires from the box truck just as it was passing the officer on the freeway, according to the CHP. Officials said the CHP’s Valley Division Investigative Service Unit will complete its report on the incident in the near future.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.