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101 Freeway shootout kills pursuit suspect in Woodland Hills; lanes closed

April 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A reckless driving suspect who led police on a pursuit Wednesday night was shot dead by officers on the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills.

The driver stopped in eastbound lanes of the freeway just before 10 p.m., jumped out of his car and apparently began firing at LAPD officers as he tried to run away. They fired and fatally struck him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was unclear whether any officers were struck.

The 101 Freeway at White Oak Avenue was closed in both directions as the investigation was conducted. Traffic was backed up for miles. It was expected to be shut down for hours.

LAPD officials said the pursuit started in the area of Plummer Street and Shirley Avenue near the Northridge Fashion Center. Officers tried to stop the driver, but he took off and almost struck at least two pedestrians, officials said.

Police followed the suspect for a short time and when officers backed off, he began driving more erratically, including running red lights, they said. He moved onto the westbound 101 Freeway, got off the freeway and re-entered going eastbound, turning his car into the path of oncoming patrol cars on the 101 Freeway at Canoga Avenue.

He exited the passenger side of his vehicle after a patrol car struck his driver's side and was gunned down as he ran from police.

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