A 36-year-old suspected car thief was shot to death early Sunday in a gun battle with sheriff’s deputies outside a Lomita convenience store, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputy John Ashley of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said the man, a Canadian, was shot several times in the upper body and legs. The man’s identity was withheld pending notification of relatives in Canada.
Ashley said about 40 rounds of gunfire were exchanged during the 12:18 a.m. shoot-out at the 7-Eleven store in the 1800 block of Pacific Coast Highway. Several bystanders were inside and outside the store when the shooting erupted, but no other injuries were reported.
Deputies from the Lomita substation had followed the man to the store on a routine traffic stop. A check of the car’s license plates showed that they had been reported lost or stolen in San Diego, Ashley said, and the car was later discovered to have been stolen from Canada.
When deputies questioned the suspect as he left the store, Ashley said, he pulled a semiautomatic pistol from the back of his waistband and began shooting.
Deputies returned fire, killing the man.