Police: Alleged freeway shooter was targeting ACLU

Byron Williams was also focused on the philanthropic Tides Foundation in San Francisco


Terry Collins
July 21, 2010 2:57AM (UTC)

Police say a California man arrested after a freeway shootout with authorities was planning to attack people at the American Civil Liberties Union and another nonprofit group.

Oakland police Officer Jeff Thomason says Byron Williams was upset with the ACLU and Tides Foundation for their left-leaning political views.

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Williams told investigators he was on his way to San Francisco late Saturday when California Highway Patrol officers pulled him over on Interstate 580.

Authorities say Williams, wearing a bulletproof vest and armed with three guns, opened fire.

He was arraigned Tuesday on four counts of attempted murder, plus weapons enhancements. He was released from the hospital earlier in the day after being treated for injuries from the shootout.

No CHP officers were seriously injured.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Attempted murder charges have been filed against a California man who authorities said wore a bulletproof vest and was heavily armed during a freeway shootout with California Highway Patrol officers.

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Investigators believe 45-year-old Byron Williams may have been en route to a planned attack, but no further details have been released.

Williams was charged Tuesday with four counts of attempted murder on peace officers, as well as enhancements for firearms and body armor. Prosecutors had alleged gang affiliation but later amended the complaint to remove that enhancement.

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Williams did not enter a plea during his court appearance just hours after being released from the hospital. He was shot in the arms and legs during the Sunday shootout along Interstate 580.

No officers were seriously injured.


Terry Collins

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