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CHP Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

Hundreds of officers in Northern California are looking for the suspect.

November 18, 2005|From Associated Press

WOODLAND, Calif. — A California Highway Patrol officer was fatally shot Thursday, prompting a massive manhunt involving hundreds of officers on the ground and in the air.

The officer was Andy Stevens, 37, a 13-year CHP veteran who was a commercial vehicle inspector. He was married with no children, officials said.

More than 300 law enforcement officials were looking for a man wearing a black ball cap and driving a rusty black sedan. Authorities said there were several witnesses to the shooting about 15 miles northwest of Sacramento.

"We are combing the entire area," CHP Chief Stan Perez said. "It's a family member that we lost today. We will not stop until we find him."

A bystander called in the shooting shortly after 2:30 p.m., apparently using the officer's squad car radio, CHP spokesman Tom Marshall said.

"The citizen got on the radio and called out 'mayday, mayday, mayday' and described that an officer had been shot," Perez said. "A helicopter was there probably within a minute or so, as were several officers."

Stevens was shot during a traffic stop near County Road 96 and California Highway 16, Perez said.

"Andy died for us," Perez said. "He had a superb record. He was well thought of. He was in a special assignment, which was indicative of how highly he was thought of by his superiors."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, traveling in Asia, issued a statement calling Stevens "brave and noble." The death "was senseless and brutal, and I join Californians all over this state tonight in the hope that the perpetrator is brought to swift justice," Schwarzenegger said.

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