Gang member dead in Arleta after police chase; dog safe

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A dangerous police chase ended in Arleta on Wednesday, with the suspect dead inside a truck. (KABC)

A dangerous police chase ended in Arleta on Wednesday, with the suspect dead inside a truck.

Authorities say if they had not stopped the suspect, they believe he was on his way to his ex-girlfriend's house to possibly kill her and her current boyfriend, and then turn the weapon on himself.

The chase began in the Burbank area around 11:35 a.m. Police say the suspect was a known violent gang member with a long criminal record. They say he was wanted on an assault with a deadly weapon warrant after he pistol-whipped his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend two weeks ago in Los Angeles.

When a patrol car spotted him, he took off.

PHOTOS: LAPD chases suspect in truck with dog

"He made eye contact with one of the officers ... looked over in the direction of officers and smiled, and then continued to drive away," said LAPD Sgt. Frank Peciado.

At one point, the suspect drove through the security gate of an apartment complex, knocking at least one bystander to the ground. Police say family members of the man, along with his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend, live in the apartment community.

The driver continued through the complex, then drove through another security gate, continuing the chase on city streets.

The suspect eventually drove south on the 5 Freeway, exited shortly after, and then immediately got back on the northbound freeway before exiting again in the Arleta area.

Police tried two PIT maneuvers, but that didn't stop the truck. The chase finally ended after the man raced into Terra Bella Street, just west of Arleta Avenue.

The truck went over a spike strip before coming to a stop. Police say the man fatally shot himself.

A standoff ensued while officers tried to confirm that the suspect was deceased.

When police opened the truck's doors, a Chihuahua ran out. They spent quite some time trying to catch the dog, and it was eventually captured. The Chihuahua was later reunited with family members.

Pacoima Middle School, Arleta High School and Beachy and Liggett Street elementary schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution during the standoff.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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police chasegang activityArleta
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