Wrong-way driver fatally shot in California police pursuit

June 24, 2021 GMT

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Two men driving stolen trucks were shot dead by law enforcement officers Wednesday in separate Southern California confrontations, authorities said.

A California Highway Patrol officer fatally shot a man at about 1 a.m. after he led police on a wrong-way chase along freeways in a flatbed truck, authorities said.

The man was pronounced dead on Interstate 10 in Fontana, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, CHP Officer Ramon Duran said. The man was not immediately identified.

A passenger in the truck was taken into custody after being treated for minor injuries, likely sustained from glass debris, authorities said.

The truck was reported stolen in the city of San Bernardino at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, San Bernardino police Sgt. John Echevarria said.

Officers spotted the vehicle about an hour later in the nearby city of Colton, he said. Then the pursuit began.


CHP officers followed the truck for more more than an hour as it drove the wrong way on several freeways east of Los Angeles. At one point, officers were able to get in front of the truck and set up a roadblock with their cruisers, Duran said.

The truck approached the officers head-on, Duran said. One officer opened fire, striking the driver. No officers were injured.

The incident caused a massive traffic jam on the major route.

More than 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of the police pursuit, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man who led them on a chase in a utility box van that was reported to be driving erratically in the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk, authorities said.

The van had been reported earlier in the day, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.

Deputies located the truck but when they tried to stop the driver shortly before 10 a.m. he pulled out something that “appeared to be a handgun,” and he was shot and killed, the statement said.

Although the object resembled a gun, deputies determined that it wasn’t a firearm, authorities said.

The man was believed to be about 20 years old but his name wasn’t immediately released, authorities said.