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Woman suspected of DUI is fatally shot by Torrance police after smashing into squad car

Police in Torrance fatally shot a woman who was suspected of driving under the influence and smashing her car into a police cruiser, authorities said.

Officers received several reports of a reckless driver about 2:25 p.m. Monday near Arlington and Post avenues, according to Torrance Police Sgt. Paul Kranke.

The motorist — identified only as a woman in her 30s — was on the wrong side of the road and nearly struck several vehicles.

When police intercepted the car, the vehicle’s exterior was damaged and the air bag was deployed, Kranke said.

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The woman did not stop for police, prompting a pursuit that wound through residential streets and extended for several minutes.

Police said they were concerned that the timing of the pursuit coincided with the end of the school day, and students would be walking through the neighborhood.

At the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Cabrillo Avenue — more than 1 mile south of the original call of a reckless driver —  officers ended the pursuit by performing a PIT, or precision immobilization technique,  maneuver near a gas station, Kranke said.

Police then tried to hem the car in with patrol vehicles. Officers hopped out of their patrol cars and ordered the driver to stop, but she drove at police and rammed one of the patrol cars, Kranke said. 

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At least two police officers opened fire, shooting multiple rounds at the car.

A witness’ video of part of the shooting shows the car smashing into the patrol cruiser before coming to a stop in a nearby gas station. Several pops of gunfire are heard on the video.

The woman was wounded and officers tried to revive her with CPR. She later died at the hospital. Her identity was not released pending notification of her family, Kranke said. There were no passengers in the woman’s car.

During the incident, one police officer suffered moderate injuries. 

The shooting is under investigation by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office as well as the Torrance Police Department, which is standard in officer-involved shootings.

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattHjourno.

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