Victim In Carjacking Talks About Her Close Call With Armed Man
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man suspected of leading police on a high-speed chase across Los Angeles, carjacking one victim and crashing into multiple vehicles Monday evening has been taken into custody.
Police responded to a call of a stolen vehicle spotted off 1st Street, near the Hollenbeck station in Boyle Heights, about 5:15 p.m.
The male driver, believed to be 30-35 years old, was traveling 50-60 mph on surface streets near the 101 Freeway and could be seen by SKY9 on the wrong side of the road in several instances.
At one point, the man crashed into a pickup at a busy intersection. On a residential street minutes later, the man crashed into another vehicle but managed to continue driving.
In South Gate, the suspect was involved in a third collision, resulting in sparks coming from the vehicle; however, he managed to continue speeding through intersections, often heading toward oncoming traffic, before at least two back-to-back crashes in which he lost control of the car and fled on foot.
The suspect could be seen pulling what appeared to be a gun on the driver of a stopped vehicle at Garfield Avenue and Imperial Highway. The woman in that car was able to flee during the carjacking.
The suspect continued driving northbound on the 710 Freeway in East L.A. shortly after 5:40 p.m. before heading back onto surface streets in Monterey Park and transferring to the 60 Freeway.
The suspect's vehicle became wedged between two cars on Via Campo off the 60 Freeway in Montebello, prompting him to again flee on foot and approach several other cars.
Police have confirmed there was an officer-involved shooting as the pursuit came to an end on the roadway and at least two officers fired on the suspect, who was down shortly before 5:50 p.m. and placed in custody.
It was not clear how many times the suspect was shot. An ambulance arrived and took the man to a hospital but his condition was not immediately known.
No officers were reported injured.
LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado said "numerous felony charges" were expected to be filed against the individual, whose identity had not yet been released.
The victim of the carjacking, 22-year-old Elizabeth Yarahuan, spoke to CBS2/KCAL9 about the ordeal, still visibly shaken and thankful her children weren't in the car.
"He just came up to me and pointed the gun at me and told me to get out my car. I unbuckled ... and opened the door and ran out," she recalled. "It was horrible. I don't wish that on [anybody]."
Witness Amir Bakhit says he heard the first crash about a mile away and began recording video, and later checked on Yarahuan.
"We got her a chair, we got her water, we calmed her down, but she was crying for almost 20 minutes," he said.
Security footage from a nearby cellphone store also caught the moment Martha Duron's car was hit moments before the carjacking.
Uninjured, she says she's thankful things weren't worse.
"[I'm] very blessed because ... if he would have hit me hard in the front, I would have been gone. He was going so fast," she said.
Police say no one was injured in the crashes.
The 60 Freeway remained backed-up late into the evening, snarling traffic for commuters. Via Campo also remained closed to traffic.
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