LOS ANGELES (AP) — A wild chase that began Monday with two men in an SUV firing on pursuing police ended several hours later with one suspect dead, another arrested and a SWAT officer with a gunshot wound to the leg, Los Angeles authorities said.
Police were sifting through at least three crime scenes all day near downtown and in South Los Angeles, including one that prompted the shutdown of four lanes of Interstate 110 where shell casings were found, police spokesman Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
The drama began around 2:20 a.m., when officers started chasing a gray SUV that was driving recklessly south of downtown, Deputy Chief Bob Green said.
Two people inside the SUV started firing shots at the officers, Green said. After a chase on the 110 Freeway and on surface streets, the SUV came to a stop and two suspects ran off.
Patrol and SWAT officers, K-9 units and two helicopters searched for the men, police said.
One suspect, a 19-year-old man, was discovered hiding in a large trash container and was arrested after SWAT officers tossed a flash-bang grenade inside, Smith said. He was being treated at a hospital for the effects of the grenade and pepper spray. His name would be released when he was booked, Smith said.
A short time later, more gunfire broke out when the second suspect, a 37-year-old man, engaged officers with a rifle, an assault-style weapon with a pistol grip and high-volume drum magazine with a huge number of rounds inside that is illegal in California.
“That’s an obviously extremely high-capacity magazine,” Smith said. “It’s not something we see very often.”
It was one of at least two weapons recovered, police said.
One SWAT officer was struck and suffered a “significant leg wound,” Green said. The wounded officer, a 22-year veteran, was recovering from surgery at California Hospital Medical Center. His condition was described only as stable.
The 37-year-old suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released because relatives have not been notified.