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Deputies Kill Driver After Chase, Patrol Car Is Rammed

November 12, 2001|RICHARD WINTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a motorist in Compton after he rammed into their patrol car and attempted to run them over at the end of a high-speed pursuit, authorities said.

The chase began about 9:10 p.m. Saturday after deputies attempted to stop a man they believed was driving recklessly and possibly under the influence of alcohol, said Deputy Alba Harrison. The driver, whose name was not released, rammed into the patrol car and drove into a Compton cul-de-sac where he was trapped, she said.

As Deputies John O'Brien and Angelica Vargas closed in to detain the driver, he tried to run them over, Harrison said.

"The deputies, fearing for their safety, fired at the suspect vehicle," she said.

The vehicle crashed into a parked car, smashed into a house and burst into flames near North Kemp Avenue and West Arbutus Street, she said. The driver and a passenger were removed from the vehicle. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died of the gunshot wounds, Harrison said. The passenger, who was not struck by gunfire, was treated for minor injuries and detained.

Neither O'Brien, a 13-year veteran, nor Vargas, a five-year veteran, was injured, officials said.

Meanwhile, three Venice shootings Sunday left two people dead and a third injured. Investigators say it is not clear whether the shootings were connected.

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