A wild chase on came to an end Wednesday in South Los Angeles when the man behind the wheel surrendered to police. But not before leading police on a dangerous ride that included one officer firing his gun to try to stop the suspect.
Residents told FOX 11 off camera they felt officers followed the erratic driver too closely in their neighborhood putting the public at risk. To that, police gave a strong rebuke.
"There were broadcasts that led the officers to believe he was armed. We generally stay closer because there is always that concern, and we've seen it happen over and over again where the suspect will stop his vehicle, go into a house and take a hostage," LAPD Deputy Chief Phillip Tingirides said.
The chase started around 3:30 p.m. when LAPD officers on gang detail spotted the car on the 110 Freeway near Slauson Avenue. The white Mercedes matched the description of a car involved in a South LA shooting the day before.
Video from SkyFOX showed the vehicle weaving in and out of traffic and at one point narrowly missing a bus. The suspect then made his way to Downtown Los Angeles near a popular and busy shopping area.
"At 8th and Figueroa, he went into an underground garage, drove into the garage and out of officers sight," Tingirides explained. "While they were setting up the perimeter there was an officer on foot near the driveway of the garage, and the suspect suddenly started driving out of the driveway towards the officer and that's when an OIS occurred. There was one round fired."
But that didn't stop the brazen suspect who sped away southbound on the freeway and ultimately to the South LA neighborhood where he struck four cars.
One vehicle was flipped over on impact. A woman behind the wheel was transported to a nearby hospital with facial and shoulder injuries. A total of six people were taken to the hospital, including one officer.
Ultimately, police surrounded the Mercedes and the suspect surrendered without incident. A gun was also recovered inside the downtown parking garage.
The suspect is facing multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon and evading officers.
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