Suspect steals LAPD squad car, chase ends in fatal shooting

The Associated Press
Monday July 08, 2002

LOS ANGELES – A man allegedly knocked an officer down and drove off in his squad car, then fought with several other officers on a freeway before police fatally shot him, authorities said Sunday. 

The incident began when two officers approached the man to conduct a drug investigation in South Los Angeles on Saturday evening, said Lt. Horace Frank. As one of the officers got out of their squad car, the man ran up to him, punched him and knocked him down. 

A fight and gunbattle involving both officers ensued, and the suspect managed to jump into the car and drive away, Frank said. 

The man was then stopped on the Harbor Freeway near downtown. He struggled with officers and disobeyed orders, and they tried to use beanbag rounds and a taser gun to subdue him, Frank said. Police shot and killed the man when they saw him grabbing at one officer’s gun. 

The man’s identity was not immediately determined. 

An unnamed officer was shot in the wrist and underwent surgery. The officer who was knocked down in the initial encounter received a minor hand injury. 

The shooting forced closure of the freeway in both directions for several hours, causing a backup that stretched for miles.