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Police Shoot Driver Pursued in Car Theft

October 24, 2002|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

A suspected car thief who allegedly pulled a handgun on police in Santa Ana was shot several times by officers Wednesday and was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.

The incident began Wednesday morning when a Santa Ana resident reported the theft of his 1992 Plymouth Voyager, said Santa Ana Police Sgt. Baltazar de la Riva. The owner called again at 12:21 p.m. and said he had seen his vehicle driven by the suspect at Daisy Avenue and Willits Street, De la Riva said.

Officers spotted the van at 1st and Clara streets, De la Riva said. Police pursued the driver through residential neighborhoods to an apartment complex at 810 S. Sullivan St., where the man stopped and exited the van. De la Riva said the man ran through yards and jumped over fences until he reached the 2100 block of West Brook Street, where he was cornered by two Santa Ana officers.

The man pulled out a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun and was shot several times by the two officers, said De la Riva. It was unknown if the suspect fired any shots at the officers.

De la Riva said the wounded man was transported to UCI Medical Center, where he was reported in critical condition. Police were still trying to confirm his identity Wednesday evening.

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