Pasadena police said the pursuit began as an attempted traffic stop of an SUV around 8 p.m. Tuesday. The SUV apparently fled and ran a red light at Marengo Avenue near the 210 Freeway and struck a minivan carrying five occupants. A 26-year-old woman and an 11-year-old boy were killed, and the three others were taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.
Four suspects riding in the other vehicle were arrested. Two were first taken to the hospital to be checked out for moderate injuries.
"It's tragic. The reality is that our officers are well-equipped and well-trained. We attempt to make these stops. Sometimes suspects don't always listen to or adhere to the commands of the officers. That...can result in these kinds of incidents. They're very horrific," said Chief Phillip Sanchez with the Pasadena Police Department.
Residents in the area said the impact of the crash sounded like an explosion.
"I just heard this enormous impact. It sounded quite severe," said Pasadena resident Mark Grimm. "I've lived here for quite a while and heard a lot of crashes at this corner and nothing to ever make that noise."
Officials initially said the SUV matched a description of a vehicle they were looking for in relation to a deadly shooting earlier in the day in Pasadena. They later determined the two incidents are not related.
Officials said a man was shot dead and another was left critically injured in the shooting that happened around 11 a.m. in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue.
A red sedan riddled with bullets was towed away and the crime scene was cordoned off as the homicide investigation took place. Detectives were questioning people who live nearby.