TEHAMA COUNTY - When a California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer was shot on Interstate 5 late Saturday night, March 25, 2017, and returned fire, a lengthy investigation that included California Department of Justice (DOJ) criminalists and a CHP motor carrier specialist was conducted.
“Our DOJ criminalists are often called out to collect, examine and process evidence,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Our CHP motor carrier specialists who are a part of the CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT), are also called upon, not just for major vehicle accidents, but homicides as well.”
The shooting happened at about 11:45 p.m. during a traffic stop by a Red Bluff Area CHP Officer. The officer stopped a white Hyundai sedan travelling northbound on Interstate 5, north of Hooker Creek Road in Tehama County. The CHP officer contacted the two adult male occupants of the car and conversed with them about the enforcement stop. The CHP officer began to further interview the two men when one of them shot the officer in the leg. The CHP officer drew his weapon, returned fire and shot both the driver and the passenger, killing one of them and injuring the other.
“We are relieved that the CHP officer is alive and wish him a speedy, healthy recovery,” said John Miller, president of the Association of Criminalists-DOJ. “Our criminalists were called upon late that night and worked for many, many hours at the scene to identify and collect evidence. A crime scene like this is often large and complex and cannot be processed quickly.”
“Each of the CHP MAIT teams includes a motor carrier specialist,” said Lynn Brenneman, president of the Association of Motor Carrier Operations Specialists (AMCOS). “Essentially motor carrier specialists are there to look for pre-existing conditions on motor vehicles involved in collisions, in a case like this one, Motor Carrier Specialist-I Jason Patton was there as support services to the sworn members of the team completing the investigation.”
The injured CHP officer was rescued from the scene and transported to an area hospital for his major injuries. The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office was called upon to investigate and was assisted by investigators from the Tehama County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, along with criminalists from the California Department of Justice, and investigators from CHP MAIT.
Northbound Interstate 5 was closed from Hooker Creek Road to Sunset Hills Road for approximately 12 hours while investigators and criminalists thoroughly investigated the scene of the shooting.
The identities of the two occupants of the white Hyundai have not been released. The CHP officer injured in the incident has been released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries.