UNIVERSAL CITY — Authorities on Tuesday opened multiple investigations to determine what prompted two Burbank police officers to open fire on a fleeing suspect wanted on attempted-murder charges in Indiana.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and Burbank police officials are investigating the officer-involved shootings that occurred Monday after 30-year-old Steven Satterly led police on a multi-county pursuit, ending near an entrance to Universal Studios.
The incident, caught on live television by news helicopters, follows months of scrutiny into the Burbank Police Department. Federal officials are investigating excessive-use-of-force allegations. A number of reform measures have been put in place, and more are being considered. Internal disciplinary notices were also sent out this past week.
Now county and Burbank officials are probing what prompted one officer to open fire in a busy intersection, shattering the driver’s-side window. Satterly was later shot in the upper torso, sending him to a local hospital, authorities said.
Satterly was wanted in connection with an attempted murder, robbery and burglary in Wabash, Ind., and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where on Tuesday he remained in stable condition, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said.
Police were planning to push for charges of felony evading and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, he said.
The pursuit began Monday near the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County, where Satterly led California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase on the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway before being arrested near the Burbank-Los Angeles border.
Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse said it would take several months before physical evidence, eyewitness accounts and officer statements on the shootings could be compiled and evaluated. Officers involved in the shooting would be interviewed to assess their state of mind at the time.
No officers or bystanders were injured, police said.
“You really can’t, in fairness to everyone involved, comment on anything in particular,” LaChasse said.
Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada declined to name the two officers involved in the shootings. They have been taken off patrol duties and reassigned, Quesada said.
Satterly was wanted for allegedly creeping into the family home of his ex-girlfriend on March 24 and stabbing her in the neck as she slept, Wabash Police Det. James Kirk said.
The woman, Holly Honeycutt, who is 8 1/2 months pregnant with their second child, had informed Satterly the day before that their relationship was over, Kirk said.
Satterly fled in the Oldsmobile Bravada, prompting the Wabash Police Department to issue a warning that he “might be armed” and was reported to be suicidal.
After refusing to pull over for California Highway Patrol officers Monday afternoon, Satterly eventually led authorities on a chase through Glendale and Burbank on the Ventura (134) Freeway. He exited the freeway in Toluca Lake, eventually getting tripped up by heavy traffic at Barham Boulevard near Buddy Holly Drive, where Burbank officers exited their cars and tried to remove him from the Bravada.
When Satterly began to drive off, swerving through tight traffic and toward police, an officer shot out the driver’s-side window, breaking the glass and possibly hitting Satterly, Quesada said.
As to why officers exited their cars and tried to surround the vehicle, Quesada said: “You don’t stay in your car with a dangerous suspect. You get out of the car once it’s stopped and you try to get him to comply.”
Satterly continued on for about a quarter-mile, where police stopped him at Universal Studios near an entrance to City Walk. He exited the vehicle armed with a knife and repeatedly ignored officer commands until he was shot in the torso, Quesada said.
“They had to make that split-second decision, and it was the correct one,” Quesada said. “There’s just no way you’re going to allow an armed suspect to run into City Walk where he could take a hostage and possibly harm someone.”
Get in touch CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at christopher.cadelago@ latimes.com.