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California Briefing / Brea

Officer is shot at suicide scene

March 17, 2009|Mike Anton

A California Highway Patrol officer was shot at while investigating the death of a woman who committed suicide by leaping from an overpass and onto the 57 Freeway, where she was struck by two cars.

The officer wasn't hit and returned fire before the suspect fled in a light-colored late-model Honda or Acura, authorities said Monday.

"We're looking at whether" one of the cars that hit the woman on the freeway "and the shooting are connected," said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which is investigating the incident.

Amormino said a 43-year-old Fullerton woman jumped onto the freeway from the Imperial Highway overpass about 7:40 p.m. Sunday. She was hit by two northbound cars.

The drivers pulled to the side of the highway, but one quickly left. A CHP officer who responded drove to the next freeway exit at Tonner Canyon Road to see whether the driver might have pulled off there.

"It's extremely dark there -- no lights," Amormino said. "It's been the site of body dumps in the past."

The officer saw the silhouette of a person apparently inspecting the front of a car. When he pointed a spotlight on the scene, he saw a flash and heard the pop of a gun, Amormino said.

The person then sped off on Brea Canyon Road, he said.

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-- Mike Anton

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