Bullets fly amid wild police pursuit that crosses multiple counties

Officers emerge from two police cars behind a truck in a city intersection.
A scene from Friday’s pursuit.

A wild police pursuit Friday afternoon ended in Harbor City with the arrest of a carjacking suspect. The chase — punctuated by gunfire — started in Chino before crisscrossing Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, according to law enforcement officials.

The pursuit, which at times reached high speeds, began shortly before 2:30 p.m., with officers tailing a reckless driver, officials said. The suspect was identified as a 44-year-old L.A. County resident, said Sgt. Jason Waldon of the Corona Police Department, in an interview with OnScene TV.

After other agencies alerted Corona police about the suspect, Waldon said, officers located him and tried to make a traffic stop.


“The vehicle failed to yield, and due to the dangerous driving conditions of the suspect and the roadway conditions, officers did not initiate a pursuit,” he said.

Police followed him to a parking lot at a gas station along Ontario Street in Corona. The suspect left his car, went inside a food mart armed with his rifle, then came back outside and carjacked a motorist, officials said. Then he fled with law enforcement in pursuit.

Over the course of the incident, the suspect fired on law enforcement multiple times, officials said.

Around 3:30 p.m., he fired the first in a series of gunshots at authorities on the 91 Freeway near the 55 Freeway, officials said. The suspect appeared to carry a high-caliber semiautomatic weapon, authorities said. Officers from an unknown agency fired back.

At one point, the suspect crashed into another vehicle but would not stop, authorities said.

Footage from KTLA-TV Channel 5 showed the suspect in a black pickup truck, the vehicle’s windshield apparently pitted by gunfire.

During the pursuit, the suspect weaved through Anaheim and Long Beach, at times maneuvering between freeways and streets and on the wrong side of the road, authorities said. He stopped at one point to let a group of high school students cross the street safely in Long Beach before speeding away again.

The multi-county pursuit ended about 4:15 p.m. when the suspect sideswiped another car, then crashed the pickup into a light pole near 253rd Street and Western Avenue in Los Angeles. He then abandoned the truck, and at least six officers swarmed around him after chasing him on foot.

According to Waldon, the suspect sustained gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital.

City News Service was used in compiling this report.