A California Highway Patrol officer, who was said to have been despondent over personal problems, apparently shot himself to death near the San Diego Freeway Wednesday morning, authorities said.
Ronald William Webb, 34, of Sherman Oaks appears to have died from a single shot to his chest from his state-issued handgun, said CHP Sgt. Jill Angel, who worked with Webb in the agency's West Los Angeles bureau in Culver City.
Angel said investigators found a suicide note in Webb's red 1970 Chevrolet Camaro, which was parked on the southbound side of the freeway near Victory Boulevard. She declined to disclose the note's contents.
A 12-year CHP veteran who patrolled West Los Angeles on a motorcycle, Webb called his office Tuesday morning to say he was having car trouble and would not be at work, Angel said. Colleagues became alarmed when the usually prompt officer did not come to work again on Wednesday morning and initiated a search, she said.
Meanwhile, two CHP officers from the West Valley bureau spotted Webb's car about 7:15 a.m. and discovered his body in nearby brush, Angel said. Investigators confirmed that Webb's car had been disabled by engine trouble. But it was not known when he killed himself or why he took his life near the freeway, she said.
Angel described Webb as a popular officer who received many commendations, including letters from motorists that he had helped. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and parents, she said.