Drug Trafficking Suspect Shot to Death

From a Times Staff Writer

A fugitive suspected of drug trafficking was shot to death by authorities during a stakeout in a Van Nuys neighborhood Thursday after he reportedly sped toward them in a car.

A team of seven agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Los Angeles Police Department was engaged in the search when officers pulled the man over at the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Erwin Street about 1 p.m.

Latese Baker, a spokeswoman for the ATF, said the officers spotted what appeared to be a shotgun in the car, at which point the man reportedly accelerated toward the agents' car.

One officer opened fire, Baker said, hitting the man in the chest. His name has not been released.

No one else was injured in the incident, which occurred at a quiet intersection near a drugstore and a fast-food restaurant.

A warrant had been issued in California in October for the man's arrest, Baker said.

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