Southbound 405 Freeway reopens after bizarre police pursuit of shooting suspect

Southbound lanes of the 405 Freeway in Sherman Oaks reopened Tuesday morning following a police pursuit of a shooting suspect.

The bizarre, slow-moving chase down the 405 ended early Tuesday with Los Angeles police cruisers pinning a sedan and later arresting the driver. 

Southbound lanes of the 405 were closed at the 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks for several hours, according to the California Highway Patrol. The freeway reopened around 6:30 a.m.

Northbound 405 traffic was diverted onto the 10 Freeway for a little more than an hour before reopening around 12:30 a.m.

Television cameras documented the arrest on the freeway. Once his car was hemmed in, the driver got out and a police K-9 pounced on him. 

Starting in the San Fernando Valley, the pursuit dragged through the Sepulveda Pass and into West L.A., forcing the CHP to shut down southbound traffic on one of the nation’s busiest freeways.

The identity of the driver was not released, but LAPD Officer Mike Lopez said police believed that he is Marcos Flores.

Flores, 32, is wanted in connection with the shooting of his 36-year-old sister-in-law early Sunday in Van Nuys, Lopez said. He is a documented gang member, and police said he was armed and dangerous.

The pursuit began just before 11 p.m. Monday in the West Valley and moved east, sometimes at speeds of about 120 mph, authorities said. At times, the driver waved outside the window and tossed items from the car, a gray Acura sedan.

After 11 p.m., the driver turned onto the southbound 405 in Van Nuys. A bevy of police cruisers with flashing lights trailed the sedan as it slowly crept southbound and occasionally stopped.

Aerial images from television news helicopters showed the driver tossing items outside the car. He also appeared to fire at least one shot at pursuing officers.

The chase proceeded through the Sepulveda Pass, and the driver appeared to be yelling and gesturing at police. 

The LAPD’s SWAT vehicles arrived about midnight, and police closed in on the suspect’s sedan about 12:20 a.m. 

Police suspect Flores shot his sister-in-law early Sunday in the 17500 block of Gilmore Street in Van Nuys.

Police say the woman is in critical condition at the hospital. 

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattHjourno

ALSO

An iconic California tree becomes a casualty of this week's storm

Backpage shuts down adult section, citing government pressure and unlawful censorship campaign

Off-duty L.A. sheriff's deputy opens fire during 'altercation' in San Bernardino


UPDATES:

6:35 a.m. This article was updated to reflect the freeway reopening.

6:02 a.m.: This article was updated with information on freeway closures.

12:35 a.m.: This article was updated with the suspect in police custody.

12:15 a.m. Jan. 10: This article was updated with closures on the 405 northbound lanes.

11:50 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details on the pursuit.

This article was originally published at 11:20 p.m. Jan. 9

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
81°