Investigators declined Monday to release the names of either the California Highway Patrol officer or the man that was shot but said the officer is OK.
Personnel from the Fire Department and CHP responded to calls of an accident near the Mowry exit on southbound I-880 about 2:30 p.m. Monday.
When they arrived, they discovered there was no accident. Instead, a man in his 30s who, according to his parents, has a history of psychological problems was being restrained by his father.
"When the suspect sees the (officer), he breaks free from (his father) and attacks or lunges at the officer," Fremont police Sgt. Jeff Swadener said. "The CHP officer steps back and tries to use his pepper spray on the suspect as he's charging him. That doesn't slow the guy down. The guy makes another run at the CHP officer, at which point he draws his gun and fires at the suspect."
Swadener said he did not know how many shots were fired or how many rounds hit the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man's parents told police that their son, whom they said had been on medication since his early teens, opened the door of a car traveling at 50 to 60 mph and tumbled out.
The driver pulled over, leaving the car partway between the slow lane and shoulder, and the father got out to see about his son. A FedEx truck nearly collided with the people and the car before swerving to the side, Swadener said.
The parents, truck driver and three people from the fire department were taken to the Fremont police station, where they were interviewed late into the night Monday, Swadener said. The CHP officer was taken back to his office in Hayward, he said.
Both Fremont police and the district attorney's office are conducting separate investigations, Swadener said.
Investigators would not say how long the CHP officer has been on the job.
"Based on the information that I've been told, the officer, like he's done a thousand times before, was walking up to the scene, thinking he was going to a traffic accident. That was probably his mind-set that he was going to a typical accident. And it wasn't until he got (there) ... that one of the individuals attacked him," Swadener said.
Monday's incident caused the right traffic lane to shut down from about 2:45 to 7:40 p.m. Commute traffic on I-880 was backed up for about 10 miles, from Decoto Road in Union City to Mowry Avenue, because of the incident, according to the CHP. The southbound lanes of Fremont Boulevard and other surface roads also had heavy traffic after the shooting.
Staff writer Linh Tat covers Newark for The Argus. She can be reached at (510) 353-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.