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Suspect killed after LAPD standoff

March 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police said a hit-and-run suspect, who was shot and killed by LAPD, rammed into police cruisers during a pursuit, injuring two officers on Thursday morning.A slow-speed pursuit began in downtown L.A. near 2nd Street after an alleged hit-and-run call at 5:45 a.m.

The driver in a black SUV hit at least three police cruisers during the chase through Skid Row before fatal shooting at San Pedro and 4th. Two officers were injured in the collisions.

"In this pursuit, what was very apparent was the suspect's intent to ram the officers," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

"The suspect was coming out of his lane, directly into the opposing lane toward the police cars," Vernon said.

The suspect slammed into his last patrol car near the corner of San Pedro and 4th Street when officers tried to block him in. The suspect was seen revving his engine, creating a cloud of thick white smoke.

At least one officer fired, and the suspect was killed. It is unclear why police opened fire, and Vernon said police are unsure whether the suspect was even armed.

The area around San Pedro and 4th is shut down for police investigation until 2 p.m.

The suspect was reportedly a day laborer in downtown Los Angeles, loading and unloading trucks for businesses in the area. One business he worked for was Los Angeles Cold Storage.

Police had initially responded to the scene when the suspect allegedly hit a woman's car when she was sitting inside waiting for her boyfriend, who also works for the Los Angeles Cold Storage company.

Maria Mendez said the suspect was a work partner, but did not know why he hit the car.

Larry Rauch from Los Angeles Cold Storage said they knew the suspect only as Sam.

The suspect has not yet been identified by the coroner's office.


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