Redondo Beach police late Friday shot and killed a tow truck driver, who they said appeared to be reaching for a gun while escaping down on an embankment beside the San Diego Freeway in Culver City.
Police would not identify the man, who died near the Slauson Avenue exit, or say whether he was armed.
Police said they became suspicious of the tow truck about 8 p.m. Friday when it was parked near the Galleria shopping mall in Redondo Beach. The truck matched the description of a vehicle suspected of “suspicious activity” Thursday night, said Officer Mark Moore, who declined to describe the activity.
A Redondo Beach police unit followed the tow truck nearly 10 miles before stopping it in Culver City.
Police ordered the driver and a 13-year-old boy to get out of the truck, Moore said. Officers then found a handgun on the truck’s seat.
“The suspects began to fight with the officers. One of them ran on the freeway, then down an embankment. Followed by two officers, this suspect turned and reached into his waistband,” Moore said.
“Officers believed he was reaching for another gun and fired.”
The wounded man ran into the bushes. Officers sealed off the area and found his body a short time later. Officers said they searched the tow truck, finding a police radio scanner and an unspecified amount of what they believe is rock cocaine.
The 13-year-old boy, whose name was withheld because of his age, was detained for questioning at the Redondo Beach police station.
The California Highway Patrol shut down two lanes of the northbound San Diego Freeway at 10:20 p.m. while investigators used lights to search for evidence along the embankment.