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Pursuit crash kills girl in Lake View Terrace

June 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
At approximately 6:30 p.m. Thursday, LAPD officers responded to a call of a person with a gun inside a vehicle near Lake View Terrace.The LAPD said the driver of a red Ford Focus sedan was trying to flee from police when he lost control and slammed into a 6-year-old girl, pinning her against a wall. The vehicle crashed into the outside wall of a home at the corner of Birch Grove Lane and Fenton Lane in Lake View Terrace.

The child was transported to a local hospital, where she later died. Police said there was another child standing next to the victim when the car crashed. The other child was not injured.

LAPD officers arrested the two passengers from the vehicle right away. The driver fled on foot and eluded police for more than an hour before officers found and arrested him.

"It was a very brief pursuit, during which time the suspects involved threw two handguns out the window," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. "And almost immediately after that, they lost control of their vehicle and ran up into a residential neighborhood yard, where multiple children were playing. The end result of this was the death of a 6-year-old. An extremely tragic incident."

Beck said the pursuit started less than a mile away from the crash. Officers were trying to stop three men with guns suspected of selling narcotics. The suspects in the vehicle fled, and less than two minutes later, crashed into a residential neighborhood near the corner of Van Nuys and Fenton.

"Two suspects were immediately taken into custody by officers after a brief pursuit, a brief foot pursuit," said Beck. "The third suspect ran and was captured some two hours later after a large-scale perimeter pursuit. He was found hiding in a trash can of a neighbor's yard."

The driver will be booked on charges of murder. The two other suspects will be detained for weapons violations.

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