Off-duty San Jose police officer's car struck by gunfire on NB Hwy 101

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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An off-duty San Jose police officer's vehicle was struck by gunfire on northbound Highway 101 near the Highway 85 exchange Tuesday afternoon.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A bullet fired on a South Bay freeway hit an off-duty officer's personal vehicle on Tuesday.

The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. on Northbound Highway 101 near the Highway 85 exchange, between San Jose and Gilroy.

The officer was uninjured.

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SKY7 was above, capturing the closure of the freeway which lasted into the early evening commute hours. Officers were also seen walking on the freeway, searching for evidence on foot.

San Jose Police (SJPD) said an off-duty officer was driving his personal car when it was struck by at least one bullet.

The Hollister-Gilroy CHP reported the man described hearing a pop, pulled over, and noticed a bullet hole in his front passenger door.

Drivers in the area shared their reactions with ABC7 News.

Resident Benjamin Shuford said, "I hate to say it, but it's a little bit- it's frightening. But then again, it's not uncommon."

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Shuford referenced other Bay Area freeway shootings.

The uninjured off-duty officer, in this case, told investigators the suspect's vehicle is a white hatchback, with no license plate. Details on what may have led to the shooting have yet to be released.

Some told ABC7 News the incident serves as a reminder to be mindful of your behavior behind the wheel.

"It's just a matter of focusing on where you have to go," Shuford said. "And if someone honks a horn, don't honk back. Just keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and pay attention to where you're going. And hopefully, you don't cut anyone off or have anyone cut you off."

Overhead, SKY7 recorded several drivers stuck in traffic, making their own detours.

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"People were turning around and going up the on-ramp. So, actually turning around, making U-turns on the freeway and going up the on-ramp," Nick Claitman described. "And then I saw trucks growing up the hillside, trying to get up the hillside. So, people were kinda losing their minds a little bit."

The hours-long back-up stretched for miles. The shooting investigation and search for the person responsible is ongoing.

Others Tuesday said they understand there's a level of uncertainty whenever they hop in the driver's seat.

"You never know what could happen," Gilroy resident Miguel Salinas said. "Like today for example."

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"Could've been a lot worse," Shuford added.

Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to call the Hollister-Gilroy CHP office at 408-427-0700 and provide information to Officer B. Diaz, ID 21067, or Officer A. Valdez-Garcia, ID 22880.

CHP said there were no other vehicles involved in the incident.

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