California Shootout Suspect Byron Williams Upset with Congress, Job Struggles, Says Mother

Westbound Interstate 580 shut down after shooting. (CBS Affiliate KPIX)
Highway Shootout Suspect Byron Williams "Upset with Congress," Opens Fire
Westbound Interstate 580 shut down after shooting. (CBS Affiliate KPIX)

OAKLAND, Calif. (CBS/KPIX/AP) A portion of California's interstate highway was brought to a halt after a 45-year-old convicted felon armed with three guns and wearing a bulletproof vest opened fire on two highway patrol officers, authorities said.

Luckily, no one was killed, but Byron Christopher Williams has been placed under arrest for attempted murder.

The showdown began shortly after midnight on Sunday morning when California Highway Patrol officers tried to stop a white Toyota truck that was allegedly speeding and weaving through traffic.

Authorities said Williams was behind the wheel, but refused to heed the officers' directions to pull over. The suspect with an "extensive criminal record" eventually stopped, but as police approached the vehicle they realized Williams was armed with a high-powered rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun.

As the gunman took aim, the two officers retreated to their squad cars and returned fire. It took ten officers to subdue the suspect who remains in serious, but stable condition after being shot in the arm, side, leg and foot.

Williams is expected to survive; however, if convicted, this will be Williams' third offense which is something not looked kindly upon by the state of California.

"This person blatantly and randomly shot at our officers without provocation," said CHP spokesman, officer Sam Morgan. Two officers suffered only minor injuries from flying glass.

According to the suspect's mother, who spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle, Williams was upset because as an ex-felon he was having trouble securing a job, and was upset at "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items."

"Something snapped," she said. "His life is over. He will go back to prison for the rest of his life. Our lives are over."

The busy highway remained in gridlock until an Alameda County explosives team could confirm that the suspicious items in the car Williams was driving were not explosives.