Passenger in Prius Opens Fire at Officers During High-Speed LA Freeway Chase

on May11
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What to Know

  • A pursuit that began in the Downey area ended in Vernon after a rolling shootout on Los Angeles freeways

  • The passenger leaned from a window, firing at pursuing officers

  • The chase ended with one person in custody after the driver stopped on a Vernon street

A passenger leaned out the side window of a car and opened fire on officers and deputies during a high-speed pursuit Friday afternoon on freeways in southeastern Los Angeles County.

The passenger, identified by a law enforcement source as the  man wanted in the shooting death earlier this week of a Downey convenience store employee, fired several shots from the Toyota Prius, traveling at high speeds on the busy 710 Freeway. 

Family of Liquor Store Robbery Victim Speaks OutFamily of Liquor Store Robbery Victim Speaks Out

The pursuit began in the Downey area, about 12 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It came to a dramatic end near Downey Road and Bandini Boulevard. After the pursuit driver stopped at a red light behind a big rig in Vernon, officers and deputies returned fire and blasted out the rear window of the Prius.

After getting out of the car, the driver appeared to have blood on her shirt as she walked with her hands raised over her head toward law enforcement officers and surrendered.

The passenger appeared to be motionless in the car as officers remained behind patrol SUVs with their guns drawn. It was not immediately clear whether he was struck by gunfire. 

Intense Moments of Chase as Passenger Fires at OfficersIntense Moments of Chase as Passenger Fires at Officers

After about 45 minutes with no response from the man, two armored SWAT vehicles pulled in front of and alongside the Prius to check on the passenger. Deputies used a robot to see inside the car before a police dog was deployed into the driver’s side door.

Deputies in SWAT gear then pulled the passenger out of the car.

He was transported in an ambulance to a hospital around 5 p.m. Details about his condition were not immediately available. 

The passenger is believed to be the man wanted in connection with the slaying of a co-owner of a Downey liquor store earlier this week, according to Downey police. Surveillance video showed the man with close cropped hair and wearing glasses as he pulled a gun on Gurpreet Singh, 44, inside ASL Liquor and Market in the 8500 block of Paramount Boulevard about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, Downey police said.

In the hours after Singh’s death, tearful customers arrived at the store to remember the man many had come to know as a friend. They described him as a kind-hearted person who was nice to everyone who walked in his store. 

Pursuit Passenger Exchanges Gunfire During ChasePursuit Passenger Exchanges Gunfire During Chase

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