WEST SACRAMENTO -- The Tower Bridge, connecting Sacramento to West Sacramento, was closed for several hours Tuesday afternoon and evening after a woman parked a maroon Hyundai on the West Sacramento end of the bridge, blocking the westbound lanes of travel. According to West Sacramento Police, she claimed to have a bomb.
The woman was later identified by the Yolo County Sheriff's Office as 58-year-old Karen Jeffery.
One eyewitness, Thomas Dodson, said he saw her shoving wires into the gas tank of the car.
Police established a wide perimeter, blocking off streets on both sides of the bridge. They also had the drawbridge raised to prevent the driver from crossing the span. Nearby residents were ordered to shelter in place.
For about two hours, the suspect sat inside the car while police kept their distance. West Sacramento's Explosive Ordinance Division gathered at a command post along with several law enforcement agencies including Homeland Security and ATF.
At about 4:30, officers approached the Hyundai in an armored vehicle and commanded to Jeffery to come out. She surrendered peacefully.
After the arrest, officers again backed away from the Hyundai and sent in robots to explore the vehicle. One robot blasted the trunk open.
The vehicle had no rear license plate.
Tuesday night, West Sacramento police said investigators were still interviewing Jeffery to determine her motive and whether she acted alone. According to West Sacramento Police Sgt. Roger Kinney, they found several suspicious devices in her vehicle.
The shelter in place order was lifted in the 8 p.m. hour. The vehicle was removed and bridge-reopened at about 10 p.m.
“This was a big inconvenience for a lot of people, but of course we have to be safe about what we do," Kinney said. "And we appreciate everyone’s patience.”
Jeffery faces charges of making a terrorist threat and falsely reporting a bomb to a peace officer.