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Man fleeing six-car Laguna Beach collision shot by police, officials say

Laguna.shooting
A driver involved in a six-car, high-speed traffic collision this morning in Laguna Beach is in critical condition after being shot by police as he tried to flee the scene, authorities said.

Police and firefighters were responding to a high-speed collision at South Coast Highway and Saint Anns Drive about 7:55 a.m. when a man in his mid-20s tried to drive off in a heavily damaged black Mitsubishi four-door, said Laguna Beach Police Lt. Jason Kravetz.

Officers opened fire on the driver in the 200 block of Saint Anns, northeast of the intersection, firing multiple shots. After the incident, he was taken to Mission Hospital. Two others in the collision were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Kravetz said he did not know what prompted officers to shoot, and he did not release the man's identity.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department received calls before the accident about the man driving on the wrong side of the road and blowing through stoplights as he traveled north from Dana Point on South Coast Highway, Kravetz said.

The Orange County district attorney's office is investigating, a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

--Tony Barboza

Photo: Emergency personnel work on a suspect who was shot by Laguna Beach police as he allegedly tried to flee the scene of a six-car collision near Pacific Coast Highway and St. Anns Drive. Credit: Don Leach / Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot

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Comments () | Archives (34)

it's seems a little harsh to know what had happen...personally i think the cop was doing his job...he probably gave the person so many chances to stop but the victim had approach what was wrong...he chose to drive off in a heavily damaged black Mitsubishi four-door...

LAGUNA COPS OVER REACT. These cops are bored and are trigger happy.

The car had already been stopped and pinned between two cop cars. There was no reason for the cops to get out of their cars and start shooting into the pinned down car.

Laguna Cops need to be taught a lesson.

In another article I read about this incident, witnesses said that the police yelled several times to tell the driver to stop but they were ignored thus they opened fire. I think they were only trying to stop him from hurting pedestrians and other motorists. I hope the investigation goes in favor of the police who responded to the driver because after crashing against six cars and trying to get away, he is a danger on the road.

Wow - something I wouldn't expect in Laguna.

" The way all pursuits should end !!

Posted by: retired guy "

K. Next time you drive too slow on the highway, turn down a dark one-way street or take the wrong med and drive erratically it's your turn to get shot. After all, if the cop flips on the lights, etc, you might get even more disoriented and drive through recess at a kindergarten.

cr8ivemastermind what was your point??
Good Job Officer :)

I was there. I watched the police try to assist this guy as he was pinned in his car. Everyone witnessing this, (and there were dozens of witnesses, including the police and firefighters and EMTs) was shocked when this jerk somehow got his car in reverse and shot backwards several feet and then put the car in drive and tried to flee. Because of the condition of his car, he couldn't control the direction it traveled and with glass and metal flying and rubber burning as the car veered out of control in the suspects attempt to flee, the officers in harms way had no alternative. Any of them, and for that matter, any of the people that were in the immediate proximity, could have been killed in the blink of and eye -- and that's how long the police officer had to decide how to respond. As shocking as it is to be an eyewitness to someone being shot with the intent to kill, everyone present said that it was the right thing to do. This officer has a duty to protect and a family at home depending on him, and today, he was an unfortunate hero. He did his job.
Haters need to get a grip. This has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. Imagine if there were nobody to call for help if someone were attacking you or threatening your life.

I read this article on the abc website and you could clearly see the gunshots on the side of the car where more than one police officer had been firing. They said about 7 shots were fired. The driver side of the car had more than 4 shots fired for it. The driver was believed to be NOT possessing a firearm...

The police shoots the driver not one of his tires......

I'm glad there were no other serious injuries, but there's something fishy.

Read these other articles:

http://www.lagunabeachindependent.com/news/2010-01-08/Front_Page/Runaway_Driver_Shot_While_Attempting_to_Flee.html

http://www.ocregister.com/news/car-228941-police-witnesses.html

Facts:
1. There was no pursuit
2. Cops arrive at the scene right after the collision
3. Cops arrive at the scene with their guns already drawn, despite the fact that there was no pursuit
4. Car is virtually completely disabled - look at the pictures
5. Car is flanked by officers in the rear, and on the drivers side
6. Car has had the driver side cabin nearly crushed - witnesses reported victim to be mumbling and somewhat unconscious when they first arrived to help
7. Based on the descriptions of the condition of the victim immediately following the crash and the visible damage to the car, it can easily be assumed the victim may have suffered a concussion.
8. Car reverses into another car, then moves forward at approximately 10 mph for a short distance
9. Cops fire at least 6 bullets at close range

The posts that say the car was a danger to everyone - just take 1 look at the pictures and see if you think that car traveling at 10 mph is a danger. Think about the last time you saw a car accident end in a police shooting someone. That rarely even happens in a high speed pursuit. Think about everytime you hear someone was in an accident - can you ever fathom that the outcome is the cops arrive on the scene and start shooting?

 
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