One of two Fremont police officers shot during two confrontations following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon is out of surgery but remains in critical condition, a police spokeswoman said.
That officer, a relatively new hire with just over a year of experience with the department, was shot shortly after the traffic stop. The other, a detective with about 10 years of experience, was shot twice about 10 minutes later and is recovering in stable condition, Fremont police spokeswoman Officer Geneva Bosques said.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers have swarmed a Fremont neighborhood to search for the gunman. Multiple suspects fled the traffic stop, but only one of them is believed to have shot at police.
The gunman was described by multiple witnesses as a Hispanic man standing about 6 feet tall, bald and wearing a San Francisco Giants shirt, gray shorts and black shoes, Bosques said. The suspects might have split up as they fled into the neighborhood.
“This is obviously a very dangerous individual. He has already showed a propensity for violence and a willingness to hurt two police officers,” Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
The sheriff’s office has taken over the search for the gunman, leading a team of multiple law enforcement agencies, Kelly said.
They are using helicopters, drones and dogs to search a roughly 10-acre area around the initial incident, at Fremont Boulevard and Washington Boulevard. Officers are going door-to-door and yard-to-yard.
“(Fremont police) have two officers they’re obviously very worried about, we’ve come to lift their burden a little bit,” Kelly said.
The incident started with a traffic stop at 1:33 p.m. on Fremont Boulevard near Washington Boulevard. After the suspects pulled over, the driver backed into the patrol car and then there was an exchange of gunfire, when the first officer was wounded, Bosques said.
The driver pulled forward again and one or more suspects ran from the traffic stop. Police started searching for them and encountered one of them 10 minutes later a few blocks away in the 1300 block of Roberts Avenue.
Gunfire was exchanged again and the detective was shot multiple times, Bosques said.
Both officers were taken a hospital. The suspect or suspects remain at large and police ordered residents in a one-mile radius to shelter in place, announcing the order via phone, Bosques said.
Streets are barricaded. SWAT teams are searching for the suspects.
An employee at a nearby Safeway store at 3902 Washington Blvd. said that store had been locked down since about 1:30 p.m.
Several law enforcement agencies are assisting with the search effort, including police from Newark, Union City, Hayward, BART and the East Bay Regional Park District and even the FBI and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Police are fielding reports from multiple witnesses in the busy commercial area. Anyone who sees anything suspicious nearby has been asked to call 911 immediately.