LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officers fired more than 90 rounds at a motorist who was killed on a San Fernando Valley freeway after a wild car chase, police said.
A partial transcript of a 911 call placed by 19-year-old Abdul Arian during the Wednesday night pursuit shows Arian claimed he had a gun and would shoot officers.
He didn't have a gun.
The pursuit ended on the U.S. 101 freeway when Arian, who is a former member of the police Explorer program, attempted a U-turn and was rammed by a squad car.
TV news helicopters showed Arian jump out of the car and repeatedly make movements with his arms as if taking a shooting stance.
The Los Angeles Times says eight officers fired more than 90 rounds, killing him.
The Police Department, which did not release the actual 911 recording, said in a statement that the man had a lengthy conversation with a 911 operator, who urged him to stop.
"I have a gun," was one of the statements police quoted the man as saying.
"'I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of cops," he said.
"If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them," he was also quoted as saying.
Police said that when the operator told the man, "I don't want you to hurt yourself," the man responded with obscenities.
"I'm not gonna get hurt ... these police, they're gonna get hurt," he said.
The police statement said that when he jumped out of the car he appeared to be taking "an aggressive 'shooting stance.'"
"You can see the suspect doing something with something in his hands," Lt. Andy Neiman said earlier.
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.
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.