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Officers on Stakeout Shoot 2

November 12, 2003|Michael Krikorian | Times Staff Writer

Officers on a drug stakeout opened fire on two people Tuesday evening in a residential neighborhood near Duarte after a car chase that ended in a series of crashes.

The male suspect was in critical condition; the female suspect in stable.

Officers with the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team had been watching the area when they saw a man acting suspiciously, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Scott Butler.

When two officers approached on foot, the man got into an SUV and drove away. Officers followed him in a slow, winding chase until he put the SUV into reverse and rammed their car, Butler said. He drove off, returned and crashed into two other sheriff's cars. As both suspects then got out of the SUV, each reached into their waistbands and officers opened fire, Butler said.

Several residents near El Sur Street between Wesleygrove and Goodall avenues, just east of Duarte, said they were upset that the 6:10 p.m. shooting occurred as people were coming home from work or heading to nearby Pamela Park for the last hours of Veterans Day.

"There's kids playing all around here and they don't care," resident Glenn Lee said. "They just start shooting and shooting."

Bystanders reported seeing an SUV barreling down the street, pursued by two sheriff's vehicles.

Esteban Castaneda, a resident who was 100 feet from the crashes, said officers emerged from their vehicles shooting.

"They were running fast, guns drawn and firing," said Castaneda, a 26-year-old former Marine.

No officers were injured.

Julia McClain, who was driving home, said the vehicles in the chase "screeched around Maydee Street, and then all I heard was a bunch of shots."

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