Updated at the bottom: The LAPD says suspect told a 911 operator he had a weapon and was “gonna have to pull out my gun on them.” First posted at 11:38 p.m. Wednesday
As L.A. watched it live on TV, a 19-year-old man engaged in a shootout with police in which he ultimately died.
He appeared to be driving the kind of unmarked Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor favored by law enforcement, though it's not clear if the vehicle played a roll in the chase: They're widely available on the used market.
The teen was fatally shot, and no officers, apparently, were wounded following the shooting on the 101 freeway in Woodland hills.
Video (after the jump) shows that the suspect stopped the car across lanes near Canoga Avenue as a black-and-white cruiser nudged against the driver's side door.
The man got out of the passenger side, turned to shoot, ran and turned to shoot again. It appears he's hit by gunfire both times, at the least.
View more videos at: https://nbclosangeles.com.
He was no match for the men and women in blue.
LAPD Officer Karen Rayner says the pursuit started about 9:50 p.m. near Plummer Street and Shirley Avenue in Northridge when cops pulled the guy over and he stopped only to take off and lead them on the car chase.
The driver was suspected, at the least, of reckless driving, and during the chase he blew through red lights.
The California Highway Patrol tweeted that it had closed down the entire freeway as authorities investigated the shooting death.
[Added]: The shooting happened around 10 p.m.
Fox 11 News reported that the suspect had been speaking with his mom via cellphone during the chase. His mom was in touch with cops, apparently, and said he wanted to stop and get something out of his trunk, a move the police would not approve.
[Update at 12:42 p.m. Thursday]: Relatives identified the teen as Abdul Arian, a Taft High School graduate from Winnetka.
An uncle told CBS Los Angeles that the 19-year-old wanted to be a cop but feared police.
Family members claimed he did not have a gun last night, and the uncle insisted that “he hated guns.”
However, Arian's Facebook page indicates he spent time at a shooting range last week:
… Just came back from the shooting range. and got some blood on my hand thanks to my lil cousin lol
Two photos on the Facebook profile depict police in action, including one shot of what appears to show him being pulled over:
The LAPD today couldn't confirm or deny for us whether the suspect had a gun and opened fire on officers, which most of us thought, perhaps erroneously, after viewing the TV footage. He did appear on video to turn toward the officers more than once as he ran, and reports indicate that about three cops opened fire.
His Facebook profile indicates a recent breakup. And his most recent status update, about 24 hours ago, says he's “wasting my time — at California State University Northridge.”
On April 8 he posted this:
done crying…tired of trying…yeah im smiling…but inside, im dying
An separate “RIP” page has been set up on Facebook in memory of Arian, here.
On Arian's own page he indicates that the 101 freeway in Woodland Hills is “home sweet home.”
[Update at 2:23 p.m. Thursday]: The LAPD today issued a statement noting the suspect's threatening comments to a 911 operator during a chase in which he allegedly drove “without regard to public safety.” He told the operator, according to the department:
“I have a gun.”
“I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops.”
“If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them.”
After he exited his car, police said:
The suspect took what appeared to be an aggressive “shooting stance” several times, extending his arms out, and pointing an unknown object at the officers.
This caused the officer at the scene to believe he was armed with a handgun.
He was not.