5 arrested after wild police chase in Boyle Heights

Police spot a van in Boyle Heights connected to series of shootings, wild chase ensues

A wild police pursuit ended late Tuesday in the arrest of three men who were fleeing in a van connected to a series of East L.A. shootings.

Police shot one man and arrested him and two others in a dramatic incident that played out in the darkened, narrow streets and backyards of Boyle Heights.

The chase began about 11:20 p.m. in a residential neighborhood off Soto and Boulder streets after officers who were scouting for a vehicle that might have been used in three weekend shootings found their target.

The officers requested backup, called in air support and tried to pull the van over, said LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado. Instead of the van stopping, two men jumped out -- one with a gun.

One of the men was shot by police but was expected to survive, Preciado said. The other man was caught by officers after a brief chase.

As the gunfire broke out and the two men were being captured, the van’s driver took off, Preciado said.

News footage showed the van barreling down Boyle Heights' dimly lighted streets as a helicopter tried to keep the vehicle illuminated in its spotlight. The van crashed into a vehicle about 15 minutes after the chase began and the driver jumped out and fled.

The man jumped fences and ran through several homes’ yards before he was captured by officers. Two other men who interfered with police during the incident also were arrested, Preciado said.

The booking charges against the men were not immediately available, but weapons violations would likely be among them, Preciado said.

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