Suspected DUI driver killed by L.A. sheriff’s deputy following chase

Fatal shooting by deputy in South L.A.

Crime scene investigators collect evidence after a   motorist who allegedly tried to run over a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was shot by the deputy and died.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A fleeing motorist who allegedly tried to run over a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy after being boxed in a cul-de-sac was shot by the deputy and died, authorities said.

The chase that concluded with the shooting began before midnight Monday when deputies attempted to pull over a car for driving recklessly near Century Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Authorities say the driver, described only as a 40-year-old man, sped off but turned in to a cul-de-sac a couple of miles away in the 400 block of 111th Street in Vermont Vista where he was cornered.

However, a woman who was in the car with him, who identified herself as Sherri Lane of Los Angeles, told The Times it was not a pursuit at all. Lane said that the man behind the wheel, who she knew only as Tommy, was driving fine and passed the deputies in the opposite direction near Figueroa Street and 111th Street when the sheriff’s vehicle did a U-turn and began to follow them.


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Tommy steered the car into the cul-de-sac and was trapped by the deputies’ vehicle when he turned the car around and stopped, Lane said. When deputies ordered them both out of the vehicle, Lane said she stepped out with her hands up, but the driver did not.

“I was screaming at the police officers, ‘He doesn’t have a gun, he doesn’t have nothing,’ ” Lane said.

She said Tommy had his hands on the steering wheel when deputies approached the car and, without being provoked, fatally shot him.


But in a statement, the sheriff’s department said a deputy opened fire when the suspect tried to run over him.

The suspect “accelerated his vehicle towards the passenger side of the patrol car, where a deputy was standing,” the sheriff’s department said. “The suspect struck the patrol car, at which time the deputy, fearing for his safety, fired multiple rounds and struck the suspect.”

Authorities believe the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene, may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The deputy suffered minor injuries to his legs and wrist but was not hospitalized. Lane was interviewed by detectives and released.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.


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