The fatal police shooting of an erratic, slow-driving carjacking suspect was caught on live television last night.
Witnesses told Fox 11 News the suspect waved a silver-colored handgun at a bystander from inside the Saturn car he was driving after he stopped at a Shell gas station at the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in Koreatown.
It appeared that more than one officer opened fire:
LAPD officials say the pursuit started at 6:16 p.m. at Eastern Avenue and Valley Boulevard in El Sereno. Reports indicated that police believed the man was armed and had carjacked two victims.
In fact, Lt. Commander Andy Smith told Fox 11:
In the city of San Bernardino, the individual that you see behind me we believe was involved in the first carjacking this afternoon where he stole the car from an individual and drove it to Hollenbeck area, city of Los Angeles, about 6:15 this evening in the alley in the area of Valley and Eastern.
The individual robbed at gunpoint, and stole a car, the Saturn you see behind me, from a 65-year-old individual.
After the suspect drove west and ended up adjacent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame he appeared to wave his weapon at bystanders and might have even pointed the gun at his own head, according to the station.
He was seen driving deliberately and even using his turn signals as the suspect headed into Hancock Park and then Koreatown.
By the time the Saturn pulled into the Shell station around 7:30 p.m., it didn't look good for the man.
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Los Angeles Times crime reporter Richard Winton tweeted:
Terrible when you've seen so many police chases you can predict when one is going to turn deadly.
As a man was pumping gas into a Cadillac next to the Saturn, the suspect might have pointed his gun at him, prompting what appeared to be at least three officers unload their weapons in a blast of gun smoke and shattered car glass.
The LAPD's Smith said:
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He ended up pointing a gun at some point, while he was seated in the car, at some individuals inside of that gas station and an officer-involved shooting occurred.
People waiting at a bus stop on Vermont Avenue appeared to be adjacent to the line of fire but no one else was reported injured. The alleged carjacker was dead at the scene, covered in tarp after he was pulled from the vehicle.
The suspect was said to be 20.