LOS ANGELES - California Highway Patrol officers say they shot a man on the 405 Freeway in Sherman Oaks because he opened fire on officers who were investigating why his car was stopped on the shoulder of the road.
The CHP said that 37-year-old Michael Northcott's red Mustang was stopped on the shoulder of the road with its airbags deployed and when they approached to investigate, he allegedly reached into the car, pulled out a gun and started shooting at the officers who returned fire shooting.
The sister of the suspect told FOX 11 that she just can't understand why her brother would do the things that the highway patrol is alleging.
"My reaction to that information was shocking. I was appalled. I was dismayed. It doesn't sound like anything that Michael would do," said Tahjanae Northcott.
Following the alleged shootout, Northcott was transported to the hospital, where the married father of four underwent surgery for bullet wounds. The CHP officers were unhurt.
"The shock of seeing his car on the news was mind-blowing. And then when we attempt to reach out for information, we get nothing except for ‘it’s under investigation.’ So that brought about a whole 'nother realm of mixed emotions, feelings, you know, panic," Tahjanae said.
Northcott remains hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center, while friends and family wait to see him and wait for more answers.
"Absolutely no sense for Michael to randomly pull a gun out and start shooting at police doesn't make any sense at all. That's not even his character," his sister told FOX 11. "He's been a role model in the community, raising up little boys. He has four kids of his own. He has a lot on the line."
The shooting prompted an hours-long closure of the 405 freeway in both directions near the Sepulveda Pass. The freeway looked like a parking lot as traffic was backed up for miles, leaving people with nowhere to go. Drivers were stranded as they attempted to travel from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside.
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