LOS ANGELES — A wild police chase of a reckless motorist in the Los Angeles area ended with the freeway shooting death of the suspect as he ran from the car and spun around menacingly, using both hands to simulate a weapon.
News helicopter footage showed the suspect repeatedly spinning around in a combative stance just before he was shot on U.S. 101 in Woodland Hills.
“You can see the suspect doing something with something in his hands,” Lt. Andy Neiman said Thursday.
Neiman said more than three police officers fired at the suspect, but he didn’t know how many bullets hit the man.
KNX radio identified the suspect as 19-year-old Abdul Arian, but Neiman said the name would be released later Thursday. Arian’s uncle, Hamed Arian, told reporters that his nephew wanted to be a police officer and drove a dark Ford Crown Victoria, a car model used for police vehicles.
But he added: “He was always afraid of the cops.”
Hamed Arian said his nephew did not have a gun at the time of his death. “He didn’t own a gun,” the uncle said, adding he felt nonlethal weapons should have been used to stop his nephew. He said the shooting was unjustified.
Neiman said the uncle’s reaction to the shooting was not unusual.
“It’s not unrealistic for family members to feel that their family member is victimized,” Neiman said, who added that authorities had no motive for the teen’s actions.
The pursuit started when the driver refused to pull over for officers. It led to a high-speed chase through the west San Fernando Valley. The car was then chased onto the freeway, where the suspect jumped out after he attempted a U-turn and the driver’s side door was rammed by a squad car, Neiman said.
The driver then jumped out of the passenger side and began running.
TV video showed him turning and pointing something in a threatening manner toward an officer, who was running toward him.
The suspect kept running and turned again in a threatening manner a few feet from a car stopped on the freeway, and police then opened fire and shot the man.
A couple in the car weren’t hurt, police said.
The freeway was closed in the area overnight and for most of the morning commute, with the suspect’s body covered with a sheet remaining in lanes until after dawn Thursday.
This article was provided by The Associated Press Wire. (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)