A CHP officer was shot and wounded near Bodfish late Sunday by a gunman who was still on the loose Monday morning.
The unidentified CHP Officer was treated and released from Kern Medical Center after being shot in the chest and hand. The CHP was crediting the officer's bulletproof vest with saving his life.
Around 11 p.m. the officer was stopped on the westbound shoulder of Highway 178 using radar to monitor traffic when a blue SUV passed him in the same direction. The SUV slowed and made a U-turn, crossed the double yellow lines and came at the officer traveling in the wrong direction. As the SUV closed in, the left rear passenger fired multiple shots at the through an open window.
The officer returned fire, striking the SUV on the left side. After the shooting, the SUV fled the scene traveling eastbound on SR-178 towards Lake Isabella. The officer tried to give chase but was stopped by a flat tire.
"The suspect vehicle is believed to have been a blue Yukon SUV type with 24" chrome wheels and possible bullet holes to the left side," officer Robert Rodriguez said in a statement released by the CHP. "The SUV was occupied with at least three male adults. The left rear passenger (shooter) and driver were Hispanic males."
The CHP Area asked anyone with information to call 864-4444.