Police: Teen slain by LAPD had been dropped from Explorer program
This post has been corrected. See note below.
The 19-year-old man fatally shot by L.A. police officers in a hail of gunfire on the 101 Freeway had once been in the Los Angeles Police Department Explorer Academy but was removed for disciplinary reasons, officials said.
Police would not say what the disciplinary reasons were nor when exactly Abdul Arian was in the program, but they confirmed Thursday that he had once been part of the academy that teaches students about careers in law enforcement.
Arian, who was killed Wednesday night after a high-speed chase ended on the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills, had wanted to become a police officer, his family said.
"He wanted to be an LAPD cop," said Hamed Arian, the youth's uncle, "and the LAPD killed him."
But as details of Arian's life emerge, the picture of his ambitions becomes more complicated. A police narrative of the shooting on the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills suggests a troubled end for the young man who placed a 911 call during the pursuit and told authorities he was armed with a gun.
Police did not recover a gun from the scene.
Speaking to the media gathered at the Arian home in Woodland Hills in the aftermath of the shooting, Hamed Arian described his nephew as someone who neither drank nor did drugs and who was "afraid of guns."
Arian's Facebook page suggests something different.
"Just came back from the shooting range," he wrote to friends April 5. An enlarged photo of a police car with its lights on — as seen from a rear-view mirror — is posted on his page.
Hamed Arian said he last saw his nephew at 6 p.m. Wednesday when he took off for the gym, where he typically lifted weights and had a trainer. Almost four hours later, police said, they noticed Arian driving erratically near the Northridge Fashion Center and tried to pull him over.
But he refused, instead taking them on a high-speed pursuit through city streets before pulling onto the Ventura Freeway. He drove a black Crown Victoria, which his uncle said was a retired police cruiser that had been purchased at an auction.
During the chase, Arian called 911, and according to a partial transcript of the call released by the LAPD, he claimed to have a gun and made threats to the police.
"I have been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops," he told the dispatcher. "If they pull their guns, I'm going to have to pull my gun out on them."
The dispatcher, according to the release, pleaded for Arian to surrender, saying "I don't want you to hurt yourself."
Arian responded with expletives and warned that the police are "going to get hurt," according to the transcript.
[For the record, 10 a.m. April 16: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Arian was killed Thursday morning. He was killed on Wednesday night, April 11.]
-- Thomas Curwen and Andrew Blankstein