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Christmas Day police pursuit leaves 2 dead, 2 injured in Pasadena

Two people, including a child, were killed Christmas evening when a car being pursued by Pasadena police near the scene of a fatal shooting earlier Tuesday ran through a red light and plowed into a minivan.
 
Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said it was unclear whether the people being pursued were connected to the shooting, which left one man dead and another critically wounded. That shooting happened about 11 a.m in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue near Wyoming Street.

Police closed off a roughly four-block area between Lincoln and Mentone avenues and Montana and Idaho streets into Tuesday evening as detectives investigated. A red sedan riddled with bullet holes was towed away.

About nine hours later, police saw a sport utility vehicle roll through a stop sign just north of the scene of the shooting. They tried to stop the vehicle because of the traffic violation, but Hettema said the SUV sped off, leading officers on a pursuit. The chase lasted probably less than a minute but covered a considerable distance because of the speed of the fleeing vehicle, Hettema said.

The crash happened about 8:15 p.m. at Marengo Avenue and Maple Street near the 210 Freeway.

“The vehicle took off at a high rate of speed and blew a red light on Maple and hit a minivan with four people in it,” Hettema said.  Two people in the van were killed and two were taken to a hospital. "Everyone in the suspect vehicle was taken into custody.”
 
Hettema said there were three or four men and women in the suspect vehicle. They were uninjured, he said. The condition of the two surviving people in the minivan was unknown. One of the dead was a minor, Hettema said.

“I haven’t heard any reports from the hospital after they were transported,” Hettema said of the survivors. “I do know they were conversant before they left the scene. So they were talking.”

He said it’s too early to say whether the suspects arrested in the pursuit and crash had any connection to the killing earlier in the day.

“They were being stopped for a traffic violation, but units were looking for suspects in the area,” he said. “They were in the area of the homicide, and running from police in the area makes it look like they wanted to get away for a reason.”

A Pasadena resident, Mark Grimm, told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that he heard an “enormous impact,” ran from his apartment and saw the wrecked vehicles. Grimm said he saw “one young lady” on the sidewalk and another one, unmoving and “curled up at the base of the van.”

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-- Hector Becerra

Video credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5

 
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