Cops Kill Man After 3-Hour Chase
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A man who led police on a three-hour, televised chase through Southern California was fatally shot today by a Highway Patrol officer, shutting down the freeway and creating gridlock near malls on the busiest shopping day of the year.
The man, whose name was not released, died at Scripps Mercy Hospital within 40 minutes of the shooting on Interstate 805, said hospital spokeswoman Kristina Murden.
Murden said he suffered multiple gunshot wounds but declined to provide details, saying the medical examiner would determine how many times he was shot and where he was wounded. Highway Patrol spokesman Phil Konstantine, however, said the man was shot only once.
The chase began about 6:45 a.m. in San Bernardino County when a sheriff’s deputy tried to stop the man for expired license plates, said sheriff’s spokesman Chip Patterson. Television news helicopters shadowed the car throughout the chase.
Yhe man refused to stop his white 1979 Datsun 280Z after the officer flashed his patrol car’s blue lights and sped off toward Interstate 10, Patterson said.
The deputy called the CHP, which chased the man on at least four different freeways through San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, reaching speeds up to 90 miles per hour.
The man was seen smoking a cigarette, checking his pager and then scribbling a note that he tossed from the window.
Once he entered San Diego County and appeared headed for the Mexican border, police put down spikes and punctured one of his tires.
When the man’s car slowly came to a stop, he displayed a handgun, then got out of the car and started walking toward the officers. He briefly talked with the officers, then television cameras showed him being shot.
Afterward, a police dog went toward him to determine if he was still a threat, but he remained motionless.
Traffic was snarled for several hours, causing massive gridlock for several miles.