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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Unarmed Driver Slain by Police Is Identified

September 19, 2000

CYPRESS PARK — An unarmed motorist shot to death last week by three Los Angeles police officers was identified Monday as 22-year-old Daniel Sanchez of Los Angeles.

Sanchez died at County-USC Medical Center about an hour after he was shot several times by the officers Friday at the intersection of Cypress Avenue and North Figueroa Street, said Scott Carrier, a coroner's spokesman.

Officers saw the motorist speeding in the area at about midnight and began pursuing him southbound on Figueroa when he slammed into a traffic signal pole, police said.

After the crash, police said, Sanchez ignored repeated requests to get out of the vehicle. Three officers approached the battered white 1980s Oldsmobile Cutlass to try to take him into custody, according to a written police statement.

Officer Carlos Langarica told investigators that as he approached the open passenger window he saw what he believed was a handgun pointing at him. "Officer Langarica yelled 'Gun!' and in fear for his life fired several rounds," according to a police statement.

Simultaneously, police said, Officer Roy Escalante fired several shots at the motorist, as did Officer Lance Dyer. Escalante also told police he thought Sanchez had a gun.

The LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division is conducting an investigation, as it does for all officer-involved shootings, police said.

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