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Hopland man identified as Kelseyville shooting suspect

  • Mugshot: William Edward Steele, 39, of Hopland

A Hopland man was identified Sunday as the suspected shooter who exchanged gunfire with CHP officers during a Kelseyville traffic stop, the Lake County District Attorney said.

William Edward Steele, 39, was being held at the Lake County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and hit-and-run causing injury or death.

Investigators suspect Steele was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and fired shots at officers in two locations during the early Saturday encounter, District Attorney Don Anderson said.

Two other men in the vehicle with Steele, previously thought to be suspects in the case, may not have been accomplices in the shooting, Anderson said.

One of the men was critically injured when he apparently tried to jump out of the moving SUV as Steele fled during one of a series of encounters with law enforcement, Anderson said.

The man, whose identity was not released, was in critical condition Saturday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. His condition Sunday was unavailable. A third man has not been arrested and is currently considered a witness, Anderson said.

Investigators were still looking for a possible fourth person in the SUV at the time.

The encounter began when a CHP officer pulled over the driver of the Chevrolet, suspecting that he was intoxicated, CHP Officer Kory Reynolds said in a press release.

Steele pulled to the right shoulder of Highway 29 and then is suspected of firing several shots at the officers before speeding away, authorities said.

Heading north, Steele pulled over after about a half-mile near Live Oak Drive. After CHP officers pulled up behind him and got out, he made a U-turn and fired several more shots at the officers, according to the CHP report.


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