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Man killed by police after chase had replica gun, authorities say

After a chase that lasted nearly an hour, Santa Maria officers fatally shot a man who emerged from his car with what appeared to be a weapon, authorities said Friday.

The weapon turned out to be a "replica firearm," according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the shooting.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday, two motorists made 911 calls about another driver threatening them with a gun. When an officer tried to pull the suspect over, he drove off, triggering a pursuit that ended when the California Highway Patrol flattened his tires with a spike strip, according to sheriff's spokesman Erik Raney. 

When the driver "confronted the pursuing officers with a weapon in his hand," Santa Maria officers shot him, Raney said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver has not yet been identified.  

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-- Steve Chawkins

 
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