101 Freeway closed in Woodland Hills after teen is shot by police
Eastbound lanes of the 101 Freeway remained closed Thursday morning in Woodland Hills as the LAPD investigates the police shooting of a teenager after a brief car chase.
The California Highway Patrol was assisting the Los Angeles Police Department in the investigation and hoped to have the freeway open by 8 a.m., spokesman Ed Jacobs said. As alternates, drivers can take Ventura Boulevard to the south or Oxnard Street and Victory Boulevard to the north.
What began as a high-speed pursuit ended shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday, when 19-year-old Abdul Arian got out of his car, began running and was shot by officers.
The pursuit started near Plummer Street and Shirley Avenue, not far from the Northridge Fashion Center. Officers tried to stop Arian for driving erratically, but he did not pull over and a pursuit was initiated.
The chase proceeded through city streets with the driver motoring recklessly at high speeds and running red lights, said LAPD Officer Karen Rayner.
Officials said police fired at Arian as he tried to run away and they thought he was armed. Arian died at the scene. Police would not say if a gun was found at the scene.
"At this point, our force investigation division is conducting the investigation," LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman told KTLA. "All the officers have to be interviewed, as well as civilian witnesses that were present."
Asked if this may have been a case of suicide by cop, Neiman said, "It's certainly bizarre behavior, and it ended in a tragic situation for all involved."
"We won't know what the motivation of the suspect was until we talk to people who knew the suspect and find out maybe whether there were some issues related to his behavior."
KTLA spoke to the teen's uncle, Hamed Arian, who said his nephew was coming home from the gym and was not armed.
Arian said his nephew graduated from Taft High School last year and was attending Pierce College. He said Abdul wanted to be a police officer, but was also afraid of police.
"He was always afraid of cops," Hamed Arian said. "For some reason, he was always afraid of getting pulled over by cops. According to police, according to the detective, he called 911 saying that he is very afraid that he's being chased by six cops.” Police have not confirmed whether Abdul Arian called 911.
Hamed Arian added that his nephew "had no gun whatsoever" and was "afraid of guns."
"We are all devastated," Arian said. "We lost a young man who was a really good kid."
-- Thomas Curwen