East Palo Alto officer shot after suspect with ghost gun runs from traffic stop, police say

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, January 13, 2023
East Palo Alto officer shot by traffic stop suspect with ghost gun
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The officer has a non-life-threatening injury and no shots were fired by police, who say the ghost gun had been converted to be fully automatic with a high-capacity magazine.

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Palo Alto officer was shot and injured late Thursday night after a suspect with a fully automatic ghost gun ran from a traffic stop, police say.

East Palo Alto police say that an officer pulled over 44-year-old Willie Wiley in a Dodge Charger around Fordham Street and Purdue Avenue after 11 p.m. for a Vehicle Code violation.

Wiley got out of the car and ran from officers, who chased him. During a struggle to get Wiley in custody, he fired a single round at an officer. No shots were fired by police.

RELATED: San Jose passes ordinance banning ghost guns in city

The officer, a 5-year veteran, was shot in the lower part of his body and is being treated for a non-life-threatening injury.

"We are grateful that our officer was not more seriously injured, and that the suspect and firearm are in custody," said East Palo Alto Interim Police Chief Jeff Liu in a press release. "This is a stark reminder of the danger police officers face, and the ongoing dangers of gun violence. We must never forget the risk our police officers take every time they leave their families to serve our community."

Police Wiley was using a ghost gun that had been converted to be fully automatic with a high-capacity magazine.

The ghost gun recovered by East Palo Alto police after an officer was shot by a suspect who ran from a traffic stop.
The ghost gun recovered by East Palo Alto police after an officer was shot by a suspect who ran from a traffic stop.
East Palo Alto Police

According to the State Attorney General, in 2015 California law enforcement agencies seized a total of 26 ghost guns, but by 2021 that number had increased to 12,388.

RELATED: Controversial proposal to limit traffic stops in San Francisco

This week in San Francisco, the Police Commission banned pretextual traffic stops for minor infractions.

The investigation is ongoing and if you have any information on the East Palo Alto shooting, you can call Acting Commander Angel Sanchez at (650) 853-3154.

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