Traffic came to a halt for nearly eight hours on Interstate 80 in Emeryville, California, after a homicide suspect fleeing police was shot to death Wednesday during a standoff with the authorities, reports said.
Police had already popped the tires of the suspect’s SUV with a spike strip when he was trying to escape. The officers shot at him after he stepped out his SUV on the freeway and started firing at them.
The suspect has not yet been identified, however, police said he was being sought by Fairfield police officers for the 2015 homicide of William Freeman. Freeman, 68, was fatally shot at his home in Fairfield on Dec. 10, 2015, according to reports. Police at the time believed the crime was not a random incident.
Several videos taken by the bystanders at the scene showed roughly half a dozen police cars stopping near the suspect’s car. Officers disembarked and were seen drawing their guns, then aiming their weapons in the man’s direction, according to ABC News.
Shortly after that, the suspect was seen poking his head and arms out of the driver’s window before he jumped out of the vehicle. He then shot in the police’s direction before finally collapsing to the ground after officers fired several shots in return.
A police K-9 was seen running towards the suspect after he was shot. The suspect was transported to a hospital after he was shot, but he succumbed to the injuries and died, police said.
The gunfight began around 9:30 a.m. EDT after which the police shut down the freeway in both the directions, leaving thousands of commuters stuck in a miles-long traffic jam. While some people captured the incident, some were also diving for cover as bullets flew. The freeway was completely closed until around 11 a.m. EDT and the westbound lanes were opened only opened after 5 p.m. EDT.
Fairfield officers already saw the man earlier on Wednesday and tried to catch him at a traffic stop, but they failed to do so and they were led on a pursuit around 9 a.m. EDT. The suspect tried to flee from police and headed towards westbound I-80. That is when the suspect encountered California Highway Patrol officers from Contra Costa County, who were then investigating a crash in the eastbound lanes. They were already present and thus helped deploy spike strips near the University Avenue to halt the suspect’s black SUV.
“The vehicle collided with a concrete barrier … lost a front wheel then came to a stop on westbound 80,” said CHP officer Matthew Hamer. A…