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Shootout on Bridge Linked to Murder

July 3, 1998

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A pre-dawn gun duel that closed the nation’s busiest toll bridge just before Thursday’s commute has been tied to the slaying of a Houston investment banker, police said.

Police spotted a man sitting in a car in a vacant parking lot early Thursday. When they checked the Texas license plates, they learned the car was stolen, said San Francisco police spokesman Jim Deignan.

As officers investigated, a man with a gun jumped from the car and sprinted towards the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Shots were exchanged, and the man was wounded in the face, neck and hand. Officers on the scene said at least one of the wounds might have been self-inflicted. The gunman was listed in critical condition after surgery at San Francisco General Hospital.

A 9 mm pistol was found near the wounded man, and other weapons and burglary equipment were found in the car, police said.

Police traced the car, a 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo, to Andrew Loomis, 55, of suburban Houston. Texas authorities said Loomis, who had been trying to sell the vehicle, was shot to death at his home last Friday.

Police declined further comment.

Westbound traffic to the bridge began flowing on the upper deck less than an hour after the 5 a.m. shutdown. All lanes of the lower deck, where the shooting took place, were reopened at about 9 a.m. Traffic was snarled for hours.

The bridge carries 280,000 vehicles each day.

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