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Sparks and bullets fly before wild pursuit ends in Sylmar

CarChase.jpg
A wild pursuit Thursday night sent sparks flying on the freeway.
(KTLA-TV)

A wild pursuit that began Thursday night in the Antelope Valley and ended in Sylmar included a car crashing through gates, its occupants shooting at authorities — including a law enforcement helicopter — and the driver eventually trying to run across the 5 Freeway, authorities said.

The pursuit started about 9:30 p.m., when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies from the Palmdale Station tried to pull over a DUI suspect.

The car — a black sedan, according to video of the incident — sped away and eventually crashed through a gate at a Lockheed Martin facility, authorities said. The car continued on, tearing through several chain-link fences while the driver shot at pursing deputies, sheriff’s officials said, before plowing through another gate to exit the complex.

Occupants of the car also fired several rounds at a Sheriff’s Department helicopter that was pursing the vehicle, officials said.

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Video showed the car speeding along the 14 Freeway in the Agua Dulce area and onto the 5 Freeway before merging onto the eastbound 210 Freeway in Sylmar around 10:17 p.m.

During the pursuit, deputies deployed spike strips to try to disable the vehicle. Video showed a shower of sparks pouring from the car during the pursuit’s final moments, apparently the result of driving on a bare wheel rim.

The vehicle eventually stopped on the connector from the 5 to the 210 in Sylmar, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The driver — who authorities say was armed with a TEC-9 semiautomatic pistol — then ditched the vehicle and tried to run away before a deputy shot him in the leg.

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The suspect fled down an embankment and onto the 5 Freeway, where he was struck by a passing vehicle. Deputies were then able to take him into custody.

A passenger in the car was arrested without incident, authorities said. A second handgun was found in the car, according to sheriff’s officials.

Neither suspect was identified.

The driver was taken to a hospital in fair condition, authorities said. A deputy who pursued the suspect on foot was also struck by a vehicle on the freeway and was taken to a hospital in good condition.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tips can be left anonymously at (800) 222-8477.


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