Sep
MyNewsLA.com photo by John Schreiber.

A suspect was shot by a California Highway Patrol officer on the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway in the heart of the Sepulveda Pass Thursday, closing down one of the nation’s busiest freeways, snarling traffic throughout the region and stranding some motorists for hours.

CHP Officer Elizabeth Kravig confirmed that a CHP officer shot a suspect, but no further details were released. The shooting occurred around 2:50 a.m. near the Skirball Center Drive exit.

Television footage showed a red Ford Mustang off to one side of the freeway, and one person was seen being loaded into an ambulance from the scene. No details were released about the person’s condition or what led to the shooting.

Investigators closed both sides of the 405 Freeway after the shooting, although northbound lanes were reopened around 5 a.m.

However, all southbound lanes remained closed until about 9 a.m., when two lanes were reopened, the CHP reported.

The result of the closures was a major traffic jam that left motorists trying to make their way from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside scrambling for alternative routes. Those routes, including Sepulveda Boulevard and mountain passes, were quickly overwhelmed with traffic. Some motorists reported being stuck in traffic for hours, unable to find alternate routes.

Los Angeles International Airport officials said FlyAway bus service that carries passengers from Van Nuys to the airport was being delayed by at least 90 minutes.

Officers at one point could be seen walking along all freeway lanes, a standard practice used to search for evidence — most notably bullet casings — on the roadway.

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