The new year started off with tragedy in Laguna Beach.
A 36-year-old San Pedro man shot himself dead in midtown Laguna after being pulled over by police investigating a drive-by police shooting at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sgt. Jason Kravetz said.
The victim, identified as Daniel Armijo, was pulled out of a Silverado pickup truck at the corner of South Coast Highway and Cress Street, taken to South Coast Medical Center and pronounced dead.
Preceding the deadly shooting, police said Armijo pointed a semi-automatic handgun out of the truck window and fired at a Laguna Beach patrol officer before he was pulled over by police. No one was injured, and the bullet was found lodged in the dashboard of the police vehicle.
The self-inflicted gunshot to the head took place outside a popular patio restaurant, where an employee quickly evacuated diners to the interior, Kravetz said.
In a related incident, another Laguna Beach officer was apparently fired at by Armijo near Nyes Place on South Coast Highway, about a mile south of the second shooting.
That officer heard loud noises that could have been shots or a car backfiring, Kravetz said. Evidence found later in the vicinity indicates shots were fired, he added.
“No police rounds were fired and no officers were injured,” Kravetz said. “We have no idea why he did it.” He was driving a vehicle registered to a family member.