Armed Holdup Suspect Holding Hostage Apparently Kills Self
A suspected armed robber took a woman hostage near a bus bench in the mid-Wilshire area before apparently killing himself Wednesday when confronted by a police officer, authorities said.
The incident occurred as dozens looked on at the height of the late-afternoon rush hour and clogged traffic in the area for hours.
Los Angeles Police Sgt. Wesley E. Toles said the unidentified man apparently pointed a .38-caliber revolver at his head and shot himself as he stood near the corner of 3rd Street and Hobart Boulevard. At the time, the man was holding an unidentified woman hostage and had been ordered to release her by a Metropolitan Division officer who spotted what was happening, Toles said.
The sergeant said the incident apparently began when the man, driving a car reportedly stolen during an earlier robbery in the Rampart area, made a U-turn on 3rd, about 150 feet east of Hobart. His car nearly collided with another auto, and the driver of the second car began chasing the man, according to Toles.
The suspected robber then got out of his car in the crosswalk at the intersection and ran about 50 feet to a bus bench, where he grabbed the woman around the neck and pointed his gun at her, Toles said. When the officer ordered him to surrender, the man shot himself, the sergeant said.