Updated after the jump: The fugitive was reportedly in jail for a bigtime jewelry heist.

It was a crazy, Old West-style afternoon on Sunset Boulevard, after an alleged escapee from federal prison was shot by a deputy from the U.S. Marshal's Office.

It's still not clear whether the victim was armed, but he has been identified as a fugitive trying to escape capture. (Marshal duties include all prison-related law enforcement, like serving arrest warrants and transporting prisoners.)

The shooting occurred at about 11:50 a.m. near Wilton Place, according to City News Service. A WeHo Daily commenter said the gunfire sounded like “fireworks” …

… and that the prison breaker had been shot through the driver's side window of a vehicle “surrounded by several undercover vehicles that had him blocked in.”

Brian Valladares of the U.S. Marshal's Office said the victim was immediately transported to the hospital, where he was treated for what are believed to be non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Traffic was blocked off and backed up along Sunset for hours after the bloody apprehension.

Update: Late-night TV news was buzzing with the fugitive's possible identity yesterday. Fox11 reporters said they'd gotten wind he was involved in one or more large-scale jewelry heists, like the $3 million Hollywood-style stunt that rocked downtown Los Angeles in February. (The bag guys tunneled in!)

Still no word from the U.S. Marshal's Office on whether the fugitive had a weapon or why deadly force was used to end the chase, but according to Fox11, deputies may have thought the alleged jewelry thief was trying to run them over in his SUV.

He's currently in LAPD custody, and will be charged locally, according to Valladares.

Originally posted March 23 at 4:40 p.m.


LA Weekly