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Driver Is Shot After Chase

A man running from a crash that hospitalized three people is fired on after pointing a weapon at LAPD officers, authorities say.

October 17, 2002|Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writers

Police shot and wounded a suspected car thief at the end of a chase Wednesday, marking the 24th time this year that LAPD officers have shot a suspect.

Last year, there were 22 such incidents.

The unidentified 32-year-old Los Angeles man was shot several times by Officers Charles Hicks, 34, and Andrew Moody, 39 -- both six-year veterans -- who said they fired in self-defense after he pointed a weapon at them that resembled a .45-caliber handgun, said LAPD spokesman Lt. Horace Frank. The weapon was found to be a pellet gun.

The shooting took place at the end of a pursuit that began shortly after midnight near Manchester Boulevard and Main Street in south Los Angeles.

At one point during the 45-minute chase, officers saw the driver point a gun to his head, and they temporarily broke off the pursuit.

The chase ended near Florence Avenue and State Street in Huntington Park, when the suspect collided with a vehicle carrying three people. A woman in the second car sustained injuries that are serious but not life-threatening and was listed in critical condition at a local hospital. The other two people in the car were also hospitalized.

As the suspect ran from the scene, he pointed his weapon at police, officers said. The officers fired several times through their windshields.

The wounded suspect was listed in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital, where he was expected to survive, an LAPD spokesman said.

There were 22 incidents in which a suspect was hit by gunfire in 2001 and 33 incidents in 2000.

It was the third shooting in the last week, and in all three, officers said they fired in self-defense. A man who led police on a high-speed chase early Saturday was wounded by Officers Alfred Gonzalez, 33, and Ernest Berry, 36, after he allegedly came at them with a glass candlestick.

On Sunday, a man who stabbed a woman in a domestic dispute was shot to death after he came at police with a knife and refused to drop the weapon.

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