Suspect shot in standoff with officers on California freeway

Police officers investigate the scene of a standoff with a suspect driving a sports utility vehicle on westbound Interstate 80 on Wednesday, in Emeryville, Calif. (AP)
Updated 28 September 2017

Suspect shot in standoff with officers on California freeway

CALIFORNIA: A homicide suspect died in a shootout with police Wednesday in the middle of a San Francisco Bay Area freeway as stunned motorists looked on, some recording the scene on their cellphones and sharing it on social media.
Traffic came to a standstill for hours on the busy Interstate 80 that connects San Francisco with several other cities during the standoff between police and the unidentified man who had been chased about 40 miles (65 kilometers) by police.
The morning rush-hour standoff shut down all lanes of I-80 in the suburb of Emeryville. It ended when the suspect got out of a black sports utility vehicle and “officers received gun fire from the suspect,” authorities said. Officers fired back at the man, who was wounded and died of his injuries at a hospital.
The events unfolded after police in the city of Fairfield tried to detain the man, who they said was wanted in a homicide. Police did not identify him or provide details about the homicide.
When the driver refused to stop, Fairfield police chased the vehicle, officials said. Assisting them were officers from the city of Richmond and the California Highway Patrol.
Highway patrol officers used a spike mat to pierce the SUV’s tires and the standoff began with the vehicle stopped in Emeryville, surrounded by a dozen police cruisers.
“Officers negotiated with the suspect for an extended period of time until officers received gun fire from the suspect,” said a statement issued by the Emeryville, Fairfield and Richmond police departments. “Officers on scene returned fire and the suspect was struck during the exchange.”
The statement did not specify how many shots were fired or what type of weapons were involved.
A Facebook Live video shot from the air showed the man getting out of the car and taking a step before falling to the ground. Another video shot by a motorist appeared to show officers firing their guns and the sound of at least 20 gunshots.
Traffic was shut down during the standoff for miles (kilometers) on several key roads into San Francisco and surrounding cities.
California Highway Patrol Officer Matthew Hamer said the danger to motorists ended about 10:30 a.m.
The freeway’s eastbound lanes were reopened but the westbound section of the freeway remained closed Wednesday afternoon. Officials said they did not know how long it would be closed.


Lampedusa mayor slams Rome over migrant boat standoff

Updated 22 August 2019

Lampedusa mayor slams Rome over migrant boat standoff

  • “The island no longer exists politically. It is just exploited in political clashes in Rome.”

LAMPEDUSA, Italy: The mayor of Italy’s Lampedusa island on Thursday denounced the collapsing government for its failure to deal with migrant rescue boats, as a ship carrying 356 people remained stranded in the Mediterranean.
Mayor Salvatore Martello said the reception center on the tiny isle was already over capacity and would struggle to house migrants currently stuck aboard the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking.
The vessel, run by charities Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee, has sought a port for almost two weeks after rescuing four boats of migrants off the Libyan coast between 9 and 12 August.
“It would be difficult because the reception center is saturated,” Martello told AFP.
“The island no longer exists politically. It is just exploited in political clashes in Rome.”
Lampedusa has long been a magnet for African migrants fleeing poverty and conflict.
Thousands have attempted to make the unsafe crossing from Libya in a bid to reach Europe this year, despite efforts to deter them.
Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been accused of demonizing migrants and leaving them to drown in the sea.
He has repeatedly insisted that rescued migrants can only land in Italy if other EU countries take them in.
Italy’s president on Thursday was holding a second day of talks after the disintegration of the anti-immigrant coalition government, which broke down after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday.
The plight of the migrants aboard the Ocean Viking, which was denied entry by both Italy and Malta, is the latest in a string of migrant boat standoffs with Italian authorities.
The Open Arms rescue ship was allowed to land in Lampedusa on Wednesday, with 83 migrants disembarking, after Italian justice ordered they be brought ashore.
Many of them had spent 19 days on board the ship after being picked up while in difficulty in waters off Libya.
There were initially 147 mainly African migrants on the ship but all minors and some suffering health problems had already disembarked.
A European deal to redistribute them has yet to be implemented.