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Man accused of shooting CHP officer on freeway pleads not guilty

Posted at 11:45 AM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 14:59:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The man accused of shooting a CHP officer during a struggle on the 8 freeway last month appeared in court on Tuesday for his arraignment.

Yuhao Du pled not guilty by reason of insanity to an attempted murder charge.

Du's mom, who lives in China, came to court to show support for her son. With the help of her son's lawyer, she read a statement.

"Du has always been a responsible, hardworking kid with big dreams. That's why we supported his desire to study physics in the United States, and it breaks my heart to see him in this situation."

Investigators say during the struggle Officer Tony Pacheco's gun went off, shooting him in the thigh. Du's mother, who is a Doctor in China, said she and her husband sympathize with Officer Pacheco and his wife. She called the situation heartbreaking for them.

During the incident, good Samaritans pulled over to help, and they shot cell phone video. Some tried to keep Du down, and other people tried to help Pacheco, who was injured. Pacheco was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released. Du's lawyer Anna Demidchick talks about the process moving forward.

"They'll examine him. We'll look at the results, and we'll decide how to proceed," Demidchick said.

Du will be back in court for his preliminary hearing in August.