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Man shot and killed by police after car chase in Huntington Beach; woman arrested

Man shot and killed by police after car chase in Huntington Beach; woman arrested
The car involved in Thursday's pursuit sits behind caution tape at the scene of the fatal officer-involved shooting in Huntington Beach. (Courtesy of Bryan Lowe)

A man was fatally shot by officers and a woman was arrested following a chase in Huntington Beach early Thursday, police said.

The pursuit began about 12:30 a.m. when officers tried to pull over a car that had been reported stolen, but the driver didn’t stop, according to Huntington Beach police Officer Angela Bennett.

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The chase ended near 12th Street and Palm Avenue, where two suspects — a man and a woman — ran from the car, Bennett said.

Police shot the man multiple times, and he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Bennett said. No officers were injured in the shooting, she said.

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It wasn’t clear what prompted police to open fire. Authorities said a gun was found at the scene.

The woman was taken into custody.

The suspects’ names were not released.

Residents told reporters at the scene that they were startled by gunshots just outside their homes. Rudy Mikaelian, a 40-year Huntington Beach resident, said he was watching television when he heard at least five shots.

“It’s the way the world is,” he said.

Police work the scene where a man was fatally shot by officers and a woman was arrested following a pursuit in Huntington Beach early Thursday.
Police work the scene where a man was fatally shot by officers and a woman was arrested following a pursuit in Huntington Beach early Thursday. (OnScene.TV)

Bryan Lowe, who moved to Huntington Beach four months ago, said he had stayed up to welcome out-of-town guests when he heard what he described as a vehicle impact, followed by gunshots.

When he went out to see what was going on later Thursday morning, “it was a much larger investigation than I expected,” Lowe said. Upon learning there had been an officer-involved shooting, “it kind of all made sense,” he added.

Neighborhood resident Meegan Sheppard said she heard “cars whipping past” but that it didn’t occur to her something was amiss until she heard gunfire.

She said she heard eight shots in quick succession. There was “no hesitation, which was off to me,” Sheppard said. “It was like he emptied his clip.”

As she walked toward 12th Street, she saw police officers preparing to barricade the area.

Sheppard said she saw the woman sitting on a curb, slumped over. “She must have been crying,” she said.

Sheppard said “it was a long time,” at least 10 minutes, before she saw an ambulance arrive, leading her to believe there were no serious injuries. “Nobody was frantic,” she said.

Later in the morning, “when I saw someone died, I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” she said.

Tire marks crossed the intersection near the suspects’ silver-blue Mercury, which had come to rest at the southwest corner of 12th Street.

Police fatally shot a man and arrested a woman after a chase ended near 12th Street and Palm Avenue in Huntington Beach.
Police fatally shot a man and arrested a woman after a chase ended near 12th Street and Palm Avenue in Huntington Beach. (Daily Pilot)

The front driver- and passenger-side doors were open, with articles of clothing spilling out of the car from the driver’s side.

At least six evidence markers were placed on the street and on the sidewalk on the west side of the 600 block of 12th Street.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, Clint Guth, a nearby resident, went to check on a home close to the scene that belongs to friends who were away. He scanned the front of the house for bullet holes but found none.

Guth said he was asleep at the time of the shooting but that his wife heard 10 to 12 shots.

It was the first officer-involved shooting in Huntington Beach this year. The Police Department had seven such shootings in 2017, including two in which a suspect was killed. Last year’s total exceeded any other year this decade, according to department archives.

Sclafani is a Daily Pilot staff writer. Fry writes for the Los Angeles Times.

The suspects' vehicle is surrounded by police cruisers on 12th Street near Palm Avenue in Huntington Beach after Thursday morning's officer-involved shooting.
The suspects' vehicle is surrounded by police cruisers on 12th Street near Palm Avenue in Huntington Beach after Thursday morning's officer-involved shooting. (Courtesy of Clint Guth)

1:15 p.m.: This article was updated throughout with additional details and comments.

This article was originally published at 7:05 a.m.

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