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New details released in deadly pursuit

August 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
New details were released Monday after a fiery crash involving a murder suspect.Connie Chang's belongings were sorted through by a family friend while police tried to sort out the mystery of why the 64-year-old woman was murdered.

Her treasures were Ballroom dance trophies, from when she operated a studio in Koreatown.

Chang had photos with local leaders of yesteryear: Mayor Tom Bradley, Sheriff Sherman Block.

Chang was like a mother to friend James Kwon.

"There was this one time when I really needed help and she just held me all day. I still remember and it is so sad. She was a wonderful lady," said Kwon.

Chang's body was found shot August 6 at a small Gardena bar which she owned and operated by herself.

For nearly two weeks, police have been searching for a person of interest.

Kwon says he once met him Chang's former boyfriend.

"At that time he seemed like a nice guy. It is really a surprise that this has all turned out like this," said Kwon.

Gardena detectives are looking at the possibility that the boyfriend was after Chang for money and stole her SUV then crashed it in deadly chase in Rosemead on Saturday.

The driver had led LAPD officers on 20 minute pursuit through Boyle Heights and Alhambra. During the chase, he drew a weapon and fired at officers.

"Within a mile of here on Garvey the suspect put a gun out the window and fired at least one shot at them," said Sergio Diaz, LAPD.

Officers did not shoot back. Yet, moments later, the SUV rolled and burst into flames.

Police say the driver was found inside with a self-inflicted bullet wound. According to the Gardena Police Department the gun was the same make and model as the weapon that killed Chang.

Detectives are now waiting for forensic evidence to identify the driver. They are also are trying to confirm a motive. If it was money, Chang didn't appear to have much.

James Kwon says the contents of her apartment will likely go to charity.

 

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