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CHP officer shot on interstate dies


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September 06, 2012

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CHP officer shot on interstate dies

Officer Down: Kenyon Youngstrom - [Walnut Creek, California]


Red Bluff Daily News

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — The man who allegedly shot a California Highway Patrol officer while pulled over on Interstate 680 Tuesday morning near Alamo, has been identified Wednesday as a Tehama County man.

Christopher Boone Lacy, 38, was shot and killed by a fellow officer when Lacy shot CHP Officer Kenyon Youngstrom in the head after being pulled over for an obstructed license plate, Contra Costa sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

Lacy moved to Rancho Tehama, an unincorporated area west of Corning, in March 2011, according to an online resume. Police said he did not have any outstanding warrants. His last arrest had been for driving under the influence in Marin County in 2006, but the charges were dropped and he had no other apparent criminal record, Lee said.

Lacy lived in Sausalito before moving to Stagecoach Road in Rancho Tehama. His resume said he was a computer engineer who also had interest in organic farming.

The CHP announced Youngstrom had died Wednesday evening. Youngstrom had pulled over Lacy Tuesday at about 8:20 a.m. as Lacy drove a Jeep Wrangler southbound on I-680 near the Livorna Road offramp, police said. Moments later, a second CHP officer who had pulled up behind the jeep shot Lacy in his vehicle and aided the injured officer until emergency medical crews arrived, said Lee.

The second officer had responded to the scene on reports of a dead deer near the road, Lee said. Youngstrom had already stopped Lacy nearby and approached the Jeep. He had a brief conversation with Lacy, then Lacy drew a handgun without warning and shot Youngstrom in the head, Lee said.

Moments later, the second officer approached from the rear passenger side and shot Lacy an unknown number of times, Lee said.

He returned to his car to radio in "officer down" as shocked motorists who witnessed the shooting phoned 9-1-1 for a fallen officer, Lee said.

The officer returned to give first aid to Youngstrom, and several civilians stopped to help as well, Lee said. Investigators found a handgun, two loaded magazines and a knife in the Jeep, Lee said.

Youngstrom, a 37-year-old married father of four, was taken to John Muir Medical Center.

Flowers were placed outside the two-story home of the officer in Cordelia, near Fairfield, as CHP colleagues came by to support the family.

Neighbors in Rancho Tehama were stunned. While about a half-dozen neighbors said they didn't know Lacy and saw him only when he was jogging or gardening, the neighbor across the street couldn't believe Lacy was capable of such a thing.

"He must have snapped," said neighbor Jim Bowron. "I don't have an answer for it. ... If you asked anyone up here, they all liked him."

Bowron said Lacy was commuting to the Bay Area and heard his Jeep leave at 5 a.m. that morning. Later that night, the CHP showed up at Lacy's home and started searching. That's when Bowron turned on the television news and saw his neighbor's Jeep.

"I didn't want to admit that he did this," said Bowron.

Lacy grew up in the central Oregon city of Bend, according to his father, Craig Lacy, who said in a brief phone interview with ABC7 that his son was smart but was troubled by mental illness, describing him as bipolar but not violent.

Lacy relocated to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University, where he earned a master's degree in computer science in 2005, according to his family and the college. While there he served as president of the campus chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Lacy's resume boasts extensive knowledge in several computer programming languages, and he employed his skills in a string of contract jobs encompassing nearly a dozen firms and organizations. The most notable was eBay, where from 2008 to 2009 he was a contract engineer working on several aspects of the online giant's web interface.

Public records show Lacy lived in Sausalito from 2004 to 2011.

Last year, Lacy got a $28,000 loan to buy a plot of land in Rancho Tehama, west of Corning. According to Corning Police Chief Don Atkins, Lacy had no known contact with law enforcement from Corning police, Red Bluff police or the Tehama County Sheriff's Office.

Now far from the reaches of the Silicon Valley, he billed himself as "Available for remote contract work from Northern California" to prospective employers.

Once he settled in, Lacy farmed produce and sold it online. He volunteered his skills for Freedom Engineering, an anti-authoritarian web startup whose only discernible goal is to attract programmers who can help them "think up the best ideas for technology that helps people be more free."

Red Bluff Daily News staff writers Rich Greene and Julie Zeeb, and Bay Area News Group staff writers Matthhias Gafni, Robert Salonga and Mark Emmons contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers



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