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Gunman Unemployed, Mad At Left-Wing Politicians - News Story - KTVU San Francisco
Investigators examining the scene of the early morning gun battle believe Byron Williams, a 45-year-old parolee from Tuoloumne County in northern California, had plans to carry out a possibly massive violent act before being stopped by CHP.
The incident began when two CHP officers initiated a traffic stop on the driver of a white Toyota pickup truck on westbound Highway 580 just west of Grand Avenue at around midnight Sunday, CHP spokesman Sgt. Trent Cross said. The truck was allegedly speeding and weaving in traffic.
When one of the CHP officers approached the truck, multiple firearms and weapons could be seen in the vehicle, and the officer also saw the driver arming himself with a handgun. Backup units were immediately called to the scene, Cross said.
“The driver reached for a handgun, and began to fire shots at the officer,” said CHP spokesman Trent Cross. “The officer retreated back to his patrol car and there was gunshots exchanged between the two officers and the driver.”
When multiple CHP officers arrived, the suspect opened fire and a brief gun battle ensued, during which multiple shots were exchanged. Three of the CHP vehicles on the scene had windows shot out.
The suspect was armed with a handgun, shotgun, and a high-powered rifle, and was wearing body armor during the assault.
As many as ten officers were on scene, exchanging gunfire with the suspect. Investigators said the firefight raged on for several minutes, as more officers raced in from CHP and other agencies. Afterwards, authorities said at least 60 rounds had been exchanged between the suspect and CHP officers.
He was subdued after being shot an unknown number of times and was taken to Highland Hospital in serious condition. By Sunday afternoon his condition had stabilized, but was still considered serious.
Two CHP officers were hospitalized with injuries caused by flying glass that were not expected to be life threatening.
“We don't know if he is actively employed, or unemployed. We don't know if he has psychological issues, or emotional instability issues. Maybe he's just having a bad day. We just don't know,” said CHP spokesperson Sam Morgan.
The suspect was later identified as Williams of Groveland, California. According to neighbors in the Tuolumne County town outside of Yosemite, Williams lived close to his mother in a heavily wooded, rural area.
While a sign on their property made it clear Williams' family didn't want to talk to the media on camera, KTVU spoke to Williams' mother on the phone Sunday evening. She said the last time she saw her son was Saturday. On Sunday morning, she discovered her white Toyota pickup truck was gone and so were several guns and rifles that had been stored in the family's safe.
Apparently Williams had become increasingly frustrated at failing to find employment, according to his mother. She also said Williams had become angry over politics, specifically mentioning "left-wing politicians."
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