A police helicopter tracked an armed carjacker who led authorities on a high-speed chase Thursday evening that became a hostage situation at a barbecue restaurant and left the suspect dead by the end of the night.
Around 6:30 p.m., police from the air obtained a tracking on a stolen 1998 Honda Civic using the vehicle’s LoJack in the Pico Rivera area. NBC Los Angeles reported details from authorities on the high-speed chase that reached speeds of 80 miles per hour.
The suspect attempted to evade authorities out of Downey, running red lights and narrowly missing collisions with other drivers. Pursuit continued on the freeway and streets for an estimated 45 minutes.
“You could tell by his driving that he had absolutely no concern for the public. He showed it between his driving a stolen car, carjacking a car at gunpoint, shooting his gun. This was a very dangerous night for law enforcement and the public,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Commander Michael Parker said, according to NBC LA.
It took a California Highway Patrol SUV causing the vehicle to crash to halt the chase.
Fleeing on foot, the suspect fired shots as he ran for a nearby restaurant. Just before 8 p.m. the suspect took hostages in the Downey location of Chris and Pitt’s BBQ. Local news KNBC and KCAl9 reported six hostages.
Restaurant cook Roman Ruiz told NBC LA that he encountered the suspect. “He came in there and he said ‘get down, get down,’” Ruiz continued, “He grabbed one of our employees because she looked at him.”
Customers began fleeing the establishment, but some were handcuffed as law enforcement attempted to determine whether the suspect was trying to slip out with the crowds.
The man was eventually shot and killed as L.A. County sheriff’s deputies raided the building. No other injuries were noted in early reports of the incident.
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