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High-speed chase ends in police shooting; 1 suspect at large, 2 in custody

A high-speed chase ended in an officer-involved shooting in Garden Grove Thursday. Two suspects were arrested.
March 13, 2014 4:58:41 AM PDT
A high-speed chase ended in a car crash and an officer-involved shooting in Garden Grove Thursday.

It all started when three armed men attacked and held up a man outside a Mexican restaurant at Harbor Boulevard and Hazard Avenue in Santa Ana at 2:30 a.m. Authorities said the victim had just withdrawn a significant amount of cash when he was robbed. Police arrived on scene quickly, and a pursuit ensued.

According to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with Santa Ana Police, the chase lasted about 30 minutes and went through five cities, including Fountain Valley, Westminster and Huntington Beach. The suspect vehicle lost control trying to make a westbound turn onto Lampson Avenue in Garden Grove and crashed near West Street.

The driver exited the car, described as a black Toyota Tundra, carrying a black bag. That's when officers opened fire. Bertagna said he believes no one was hit. Police are still looking for the driver, but they did recover the bag nearby. The bag contained two firearms, officials said.

Two other suspects, 21-year-old Justin Qunnaphonh Phabmixay and 29-year-old Michael Tran Nguyen, were taken into custody at the scene. Bertagna said investigators recovered another weapon inside the truck - a shotgun. Bertagna said it's unknown if the suspects fired back at the officers.

It remains unknown if the suspects are connected to any other robberies. The robbery victim was not seriously injured. Authorities are trying to figure out if he was targeted.

Police did not release a description of the suspect they're looking for. As for the two in custody, they will face charges of evading police, robbery and kidnapping.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.


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