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Deputy shoots man in fwy confrontation

April 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has shot and wounded a driver during a freeway confrontation. Authorities say an off-duty sheriff's deputy was forced to shoot another driver in an apparent case of road rage.

Click in the Eyewitness News story window above to watch Subha Ravindhran's report.

The suspect has been identified as a 19-year-old man from Inglewood.

Officials say that the deputy had just gotten off work and had entered the freeway off of Hawthorne Boulevard about 8 a.m. Tuesday. That is when the suspect pulled up and started taunting the deputy.

"The suspect made several maneuvers trying to run into the deputy as the deputy drove eastbound on the 105 Freeway. The deputy attempted to get away from the suspect. At one point he believed that the suspect actually collided into his vehicle," said Sgt. John Hocking, L.A. Co. Sheriff's Department.

That is when authorities say that the deputy pulled over and the suspect followed. Within seconds the suspect pulled out a butterfly knife and started lunging toward the officer. The deputy pulled out his gun and fired hitting the suspect.

Jeffrey Clark says that he pulled up to the scene minutes later.

"As I passed by I saw a guy laying in between both cars. He had a white T-shirt on and an open shirt. The guy was laying on the ground and he was moving his arms. I saw the deputy standing over him with a gun pointing towards the suspect," said Clark.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital. He is expected to survive. The deputy was not injured in the incident.

Traffic on the 105 Freeway eastbound was backed up for miles Tuesday morning.

"I was on the 105 for about an hour. I was on the ramp and I couldn't get out at all," said Claudine Camas.

"It was kind of like pea soup this morning, you were wondering what was going on. There was traffic everywhere. Hearing about what happened afterwards I thought that was dangerous. Somebody was road-raging or whatever the case may be I am sure he had to defend himself," said Justice Hayes.

The eastbound lanes of the 105 Freeway were closed at Crenshaw and Vermont for a good part of the day while police investigated the scene. The freeway was re-opened shortly after 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Authorities did recover the suspect's butterfly knife on the freeway. The deputy who is a nine year veteran of the sheriff's department worked out of the Lennox Sub-Station. Authorities at this time are not releasing his name.

 

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