SHERMAN OAKS—On Thursday, April 14, West Valley California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were involved in a shootout with a male suspect that led to an hours-long closure of the 405 Freeway near the Sepulveda Pass.
Canyon News spoke with CHP Officer Jose Barrios, who confirmed that at around 2:45 a.m., two CHP officers from the West Valley Division responded to a vehicle stalled on the right shoulder of the 405 freeway heading southbound, just north of Skirball Center Drive.
CHP officers got out of their patrol car to investigate and observed that the airbags of the vehicle – a red mustang – were deployed and the driver was standing outside of the vehicle. Upon noticing the officers, the driver, described as a 37-year-old male, reached into the vehicle, pulled out a pistol and started to shoot at the officers, Officer Barrios indicated. The officers responded by firing rounds back, one hitting the suspect and taking him down.
Once they determined it was safe, the officers proceeded to render aid to the suspect. The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived at the scene and transported the suspect to the UCLA Medical Center. The suspect’s condition was not disclosed at the time.
The patrol car sustained several rounds, but neither officer was injured during the incident, Officer Barrios indicated.
Caltrans issued an alert at 6:45 a.m., that both sides of the 405 Freeway near the Sepulveda Pass were shut down due to a police investigation, stemming heavy traffic in the area for hours.
Northbound lanes reopened around 5 a.m. and Southbound lanes reopened just before 12:30 p.m, but traffic delays remained for a while longer.
Canyon News contacted the UCLA Medical Center for an update on the suspect’s condition, but did not hear back before print.
The events leading up prior to the incident and the suspect’s motive are still under investigation and could take months to disclose, Officer Barrios told Canyon News.