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Suspect pointed gun at people before officers shot him, police say

February 24, 2012 | 11:29 am

 Los Angeles police said officers fatally shot an armed carjacking suspect in Koreatown at the end of a televised slow-speed pursuit Thursday because he pointed his handgun at customers at a gas station, endangering public safety.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the gunman's actions required officers to respond with deadly force.

"When he pulled out his revolver and pointed it at people inside the store, the officers took action, fired their rounds and the suspect expired at the scene," Smith said Friday.

LAPD's Force Investigation Division detectives, who probe every major department shooting, were at the scene of the shooting Friday morning.

Authorities were withholding the suspect's identity until his family was notified, said Ed Winter, of the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

The armed carjacking suspect stole two vehicles before leading officers on a chase through the streets of the Eastside, Hollywood, Hancock Park and finally Koreatown, where he was confronted by officers with guns drawn.

Live television coverage showed the man driving on the 101 Freeway, rolling past people on bustling Hollywood Boulevard and pulling the car into a gas station on Wilshire Boulevard, where officers opened fire delivering multiple shots into a stolen Saturn after a bystander ducked for cover near an adjacent vehicle.

A revolver was found inside the older-model Saturn, said LAPD sources familiar with the incident. 

The man allegedly stole a car from a woman in San Bernardino shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday, said the LAPD sources, who asked not to be named because the investigation had just been launched.

The man drove to North Valley Boulevard and Eastern Avenue in El Sereno, where he dumped the car he was driving and stole the Saturn from a 65-year-old man, according to the sources.

With LAPD officers in pursuit and TV news helicopters overhead, the man led officers on a slow chase across city streets. It ended shortly after 7:30 p.m.

RELATED:

Carjacking suspect is shot by police in Koreatown after chase

Carjacking suspect stole 2 vehicles before being shot, sources say

Carjacking suspect dies after being shot by LAPD after wild chase

-- Richard Winton 

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