Highway 89 between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski mountains remains closed this morning as the Placer County Sheriff's Office investigates an incident last night in which a suspected DUI driver was pursued by California Highway Patrol officers, eventually taking a female passenger hostage at gunpoint before deputies shot and killed him. Per the Placer's County Sheriff's Office and local station KOLO, the man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the hostage, the deputies, and CHP officers were uninjured.
CHP officers attempted to pull over an erratic driver suspected of a DUI at around 1:40 a.m. last night, beginning a pursuit that was quickly called off. CHP issued an alert and a deputy saw the car back on the road, on Highway 28 near Dollar Hill, also driving erratically. The driver reportedly refused to pull over once again, beginning another pursuit.
CHP officers used spike strips to disable the man's vehicle between Squaw and Alpine on Highway 89, when investigators say he exited his car with a female passenger held hostage at gunpoint. They say he aimed his gun at them and at passing cars, and then began walking up the driveway of a home.
“At one point he tried to stop passing cars, pointing his weapon,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. Troy Sander told the Sacramento Bee. “We thought at that time he was trying to carjack another vehicle... Our officers tried to negotiate with the individual, but fearing for the safety of all involved, including the hostage and potentially the people in the home, officers used lethal force and eliminated the threat,” Sander said. The man and his hostage have not been identified to news sources.
Highway 89 will be closed for a "significant amount of time" today according to officials as snow bears down on the region.