LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles police shot dead a man early Tuesday morning after he allegedly committed a wave of violence downtown, shooting multiple people, killing two of them, apparently at random before unleash an hours-long police chase that ended in a confrontation on a highway overpass.
The suspect, only described as a man in his 40s to 50s, was pronounced dead on the 91 freeway overpass in Orange County, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The man had been in a white Jeep Cherokee and turned down pleas from police and a family member to surrender, authorities said. He shot at police during the confrontation and an officer responded to the fire, killing him. His death marks the second time LAPD officers fatally shot a person in four days.
How the shootings happened
The drive-by shootings began around 12:55 a.m. near the University of Southern California. The suspect pulled up next to the victim’s vehicle and fired multiple rounds at her, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday morning during a police commission meeting.
The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the head; he is expected to survive his injuries.
Moore said an in-dash camera inside the victim’s vehicle captured part of the shooting and the license plate of the Jeep.
About 10 minutes later, a shooting occurred less than a mile away. The suspect drove alongside another man’s vehicle, this time at a Starbucks drive-through, and backed up, causing a minor collision.
Authorities detained a man suspected of a triple shooting in the Exposition park and downtown Los Angeles areas that left two people dead and one injured Tuesday morning.
The suspect then fired into the vehicle and killed the man, a newlywed who was driving with his wife, Moore said. Police believe there was a “verbal exchange” between the couple and the gunman, but Moore did not know what had been said.
None of the victims was a USC student, the university said.
The next deadly shooting occurred around 1:25 a.m., about 3 miles from second place. A man was driving when the suspect pulled up beside him and began firing through the window, fatally striking the victim.
At least four people, including a minor, died on Wednesday in a new shooting in the United States, this time in an office building in the city of Orange, south of Los Angeles.
A fourth incident was reported shortly after the homicide, Moore said, when the suspect fired at a vehicle at an intersection.
Los Angeles and Orange Counties Police Pursuit
Officers saw the suspect’s Jeep and began a lengthy chase, which included the suspect shooting a white Tesla while driving. The driver inside was not injured.
The chase went through multiple freeways in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Police used spike strips to disable the Jeep on an overpass in Fullerton around 3:30 a.m., when a confrontation with LAPD SWAT officers began.
SWAT pinned the Jeep and tried to negotiate for it to surrender, Moore said. The suspect began shooting at officers through the front windshield of the vehicle and an officer responded to the fire. The man shot the police a second time, the chief said, prompting the officer to return fire.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and a handgun believed to be related to the earlier shootings was found, Moore said.
Police are investigating what caused the wave of violence and whether the man is related to other crimes.
On Saturday, LAPD officers shot and killed 34-year-old Richard Solitro, who had been in a car accident with police. Solitro got out of his vehicle and, with his hand behind his back, began to count “3… 2… 1” while holding out his hand.
At least one officer shot him and fatally wounded him. The police did not find a weapon. Solitro had been shot by police in Rhode Island in 2018.