OAKLAND—It was a ferocious gun battle; and the louder the bang the bigger the weapon. For 8 minutes as many as ten CHP officers traded shots with a heavily armed man; though neighbors say it was more like 15 or 20 minutes. When it was over, CHP officer Sam Morgan says 60 rounds had been fired, "The driver had a pistol, a rifle and a shot gun. Clearly, he was not going down peacefully because he fired on officers unprovoked, he was wearing body armor."
The body armor allowed 45 year old prison parolee, Byron Williams, to survive the hail of bullet. His white truck was stopped just before midnight Saturday for speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. Investigators would later learn this is a violent criminal facing his third strike and a lifetime in prison.
YouTube. The pictures were dark and shaky, but there was no mistaking the sound of gunfire. "I was standing on the porch listening to it," Ted Vander Clute says his neighbors were gathered in the street as the gun battle continued. "The more we listened, the more we realized it was gunshots, They were very loud. I was personally scared. I thought one of my neighbors was getting shot," he says.
The bomb squad blew up two suspicious items thought to be bombs. They were not. But the most explosive item may end up being a note book found in the suspects' truck titled: "California." Investigators won't tell us what's inside, but they're convinced the CHP stopped a man who was about to commit a very serious crime. "We believe he was in route somewhere to hurt either one person or a group of people. He had several rounds of ammunition and several types of ammunition," says Morgan.
Oakland Police won't reveal the suspects name saying they are following up on other crimes the suspect may have committed. Byron Williams, according to published reports, is from the town of Groveland in Tuolumne County. The body armor he was wearing wasn't elaborate: just a simple neck to waist bullet proof vest. As of news time, he was listed in serious, but stable condition at highland's hospital in Oakland. Two CHP officers were treated and released for minor injuries.