Horrifying High Speed Chase Roars From Fwys Onto LB Streets, Ending At Redondo/Anaheim With Suspect Exiting Car Armed With Handgun; Police Open Fire, Killing Suspect
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(May 11, 2005, updated May 12, 12:15 a.m.) -- A horrifying high speed chase on area freeways roared onto LB streets during the May 11 afternoon rush hour, ending on Anaheim St. at Redondo Ave. in the parking lot of an El Pollo Loco when the suspect exited the vehicle -- with a gun clearly visible on TV helicopter footage.
Earlier in the pursuit, L.A. TV news helicopters captured scenes of pedestrians at PCH/Locust running for safety as the careening car nearly went onto the sidewalk.
When the driver reached Anaheim/Redondo, he pulled into a shopping plaza on the northeast corner containing multiple businesses. The suspect exited the vehicle armed with a handgun...with the potential of entering a business where he could put customers and employees at risk. Officers opened fire, knocking the armed man to the ground...and the gun flew out of his hand.
But the suspect wasn't through. He reached down to grab what turned out to be a second gun...and LBPD officers fired, stopping the armed man. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Police tape blocked off numerous streets. Multiple news helicopters created a mind-numbing din. L.A. TV news vans swarmed the scene.
In a written release, LBPD stated:
On Wednesday, May 11, 2005, at approximately 5:42 p.m., officers shot and killed an armed suspect that was driving a stolen vehicle that was taken during a residential robbery that occurred in Riverside County on May 9, 2005.
An Auto Theft Detective in an unmarked police vehicle was on an unrelated surveillance in the area of 21st Street and Olive Avenue, when the suspect vehicle, a blue 1996 Buick Regal drove by. The detective ran the suspectís license plate as he drove by and discovered the vehicle had been stolen in the robbery. The detective requested back-up and continued to follow the suspectís vehicle. As the back-up units began arriving, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated.
The suspect traveled on both surface streets and on the freeway driving through several cities that included Carson, Torrance, San Pedro and Wilmington. The suspect was attempting to exit the 110 Harbor Freeway at the Pacific Coast Highway, when he crashed into the off-rampís guardrail. He stalled momentarily until driving off and re-entering the City of Long Beach.
The suspect continued driving eastbound on Anaheim Street until stopping his vehicle on Anaheim Street, just east of Redondo Avenue in a shopping center parking lot. The suspect then exited his vehicle, holding a handgun in his hand and began running towards the businesses. Officers, fearing for their safety and the safety of others, fired at the suspect striking him multiple times. As the suspect was being struck by gunfire, he dropped the handgun and immediately began reaching into his pocket for what was later learned to be a second handgun. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The suspect is only being identified as a male Hispanic in his late 30ís at this time. The Los Angeles County Coronerís Office will determine the suspectís identity.
In an early on-scene briefing, Commander Jay Johnson said:
"We knew at the time when we were pursuing him that he was armed with a handgun. When he got out of the car he began to flee. Our concern was that he was going to run into the nearby businesses and the safety of the community and people in those businesses were our first concern."
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