Eureka News

Suspect dead in officer involved shooting in Weitchpec

WEITCHPEC, Calif. - An investigation is underway into a fatal officer involved shooting that took place in Weitchpec around 8:30p.m. on Friday.

Humboldt County deputies told North Coast News that an officer with the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department was in pursuit of a male suspect who was driving a reported stolen motorcycle. The suspect was believed to have been involved in an earlier incident in Hoopa, where a male victim was shot at Ray's. Deputies said that victim suffered non-life threatening injuries. They said that incident happened around 7:30p.m.

Deputies said the pursuit ended in Weitchpec at the bridge off of SR-96 by SR-169.

They said the suspect fired shots at the officer and in self-defense, the officer returned fire.

The suspect died as a result of the shots exchanged.

They said the officer was not injured.

North Coast News staff on scene report the Hoopa Valley Tribal police car involved in the incident was hit by gunfire. It appeared as if the driver's side window had been hit by a bullet.

Deputies said the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) has been activated and will investigate the incident.

Due to the investigation, traffic on SR-96 is being diverted to SR-169. Investigators said travelers can expect SR-96 to be shut down for at least 12 hours as the investigation is conducted.

Deputies said the tribal police officer involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave and will hand over his weapon and clothing to investigators as part of the investigation.

Multiple agencies to include Hoopa Valley Tribal PD, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol remain on scene.

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