It played out like something in a Hollywood movie… and didn’t end well for the murder suspect.
On Friday night, a murder suspect opened fire on police during a high-speed pursuit in Los Angeles.
Police have not yet publicly identified the murder suspect, but here’s what happened.
He was the passenger in a Toyota Prius leading police on a chase. According to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred in a Friday night news conference, the suspect leaned out a window and fired a large-caliber revolver at officers
“Multiple times the suspect hung out of the window, the suspect fired rounds at the pursuing officers and deputies,” Alfred said.
Two Downey police vehicles were hit. Luckily no officers were injured. During the chase, police did not return fire. On an NBC Los Angeles aerial camera, you can see a male passenger leaning out the window and firing the large, silver handgun.
The relatively short pursuit ended in an industrial area southeast of downtown L.A. That’s when officers returned fire.
When the Toyota Prius stopped at an intersection, and the woman who was driving surrendered after the gunfire stopped.
The shooter stayed in the car, which lead to a nearly two-hour standoff carried live on local television.
Alfred said that at least two Downey officers and four Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies fired their weapons. The suspect was believed to have been hit several times and was in unknown condition late Friday night, according to officials.
“This suspect has shown clearly that he had complete disregard for the safety of anybody on the roadways today, as he was hanging out the side of a car speeding along the freeway and the surface streets firing a large-caliber revolver into, you know, all over the place,” Alfred said.
The driver was also shot and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators are trying to figure out what her involvement was, according to Alfred.
“We believe we know the relationship” between the two, he said, but did not comment further.
At least one bystander was grazed by a bullet. That person was in a pickup and downrange of the shooting, but it’s not clear whether that person was struck by law enforcement or the suspect.
“It was very scary,” a driver said to NBC Los Angeles. “People were shooting around me. I didn’t know what was going on.”
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department SWAT team members tossed stun grenades after the suspect became unresponsive. They then sent in a police dog and crept up behind the Prius by using the cover of an armored vehicle to then extract the man.
It all began, according to Downey police Lt. Kathleen Mendoza, after police were in Maywood – near Downey – investigating the fatal Tuesday night shooting of the co-owner of a convenience store. They believe the murder happened in an attempted robbery.
That’s when police saw a man matching the description of the suspect outside a residence.
The guy got into a vehicle, and the chase began after officers attempted to stop that car. Sheriff’s deputies called for assistance on the pursuit around 2:30 p.m.
Alfred said they were lucky the chase ended in Vernon because it is an industrial area. He also said it must have been “horrific” for the motorists stopped at the traffic light.
“The person making the decision in this was the suspect and the driver, and they could have led this anywhere — this is one you’re not going to let go. He has to be stopped,” he said. “… We believe that he has already murdered one person, and we don’t know what this person is capable of.”
He’s pleased that no officers were hurt.
“It’s unfortunate that somebody was injured, but things could have been a lot worse,” Alfred said. “We’re just glad that it turned out the way it did.”
If the suspected shooter survives, he could face charges of attempted murder on a peace officer and felony evading.