I-580 shooter to enter plea on murder charges

July 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The suspect involved in a gun battle with the CHP on Interstate 580 is expected to enter a plea to attempted murder charges in court today.

In the meantime, police are saying that their confrontation with Byron Williams on Sunday morning may have prevented a much bigger attack and they know who he was targeting.

A sheriff-bailiff told ABC7 Wednesday morning that Williams' public defender still needed to interview him, after which they would try to get him before the judge as soon as possible because of medical issues resulting from the gunshot wounds he suffered during Sunday's mass shootout.

The intense gun battle took place early Sunday morning on I-580 in Oakland. The suspect, 45-year-old Byron Williams of Groveland in Tuolumne County told investigators he hoped to "start a revolution" by travelling to San Francisco and "killing people of importance" at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation, which promotes environmental and social justice.

CHP officers initially pulled Williams over for speeding and swerving. When officers spotted him reaching for a gun, the shooting broke out. Williams told investigators that when he was stopped by the CHP, he made the decision that he would not be arrested and was willing to shoot and kill officers.

"We feel glad that we're not planning for memorial services today. Our officers exercised some very good judgment, good officer safety skills, relied on their training, and that's why they're still alive today," CHP officer Sam Morgan said. "So, what happens in court, we're going to trust the outcome to our judicial system."

Williams is facing four counts of attempted murder of CHP officers and a charge for being a felon in possession of a firearm. As a two-strike felon on parole for bank robbery, he is also charged with being in possession of weapons, ammunition and body armor. This potentially being his third strike, he could face life in prison.

Williams could also face federal charges. The FBI is investigating a folder found in Williams' truck. All they are revealing is that it was titled "California."


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