Pursuit Ends in Attempted Hit-and-Run, Fatal Shooting

by Bisnar Chase on September 20, 2012

September 6, 2012—Bellflower, CA—Fullerton police officers were involved in an early Tuesday morning chase when a suspect ran a red light then refused to stop for officers.  Police cornered the man in Bellflower, but he allegedly attempted to run over officers with the vehicle.  The police opened fire and the driver was killed at the scene.  The suspect collided with three police cruisers during the chase.

The final shooting took place at a cul-de-sac on Palo Verde Avenue.  The suspect was a male in his late 20s, but no information on his identity has been released.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has taken over the investigation.

My sincere condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends.

Police Chases are Often Fatal for Suspect and Innocent Victims

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a person dies every day in the United States in a police-related car chase.  While most of these victims are the suspects the police are chasing, some are police officers and others are innocent bystanders.  In fact, about 15 percent of all people killed by police chases are not involved in the chase at all but are hit by fleeing suspects or the police themselves.  Pedestrians, bicycle riders, motorcyclists, and passenger car drivers are all innocent victims of police chases.

Did The Police Have To Shoot?

The current feeling toward police on the part of some groups suggest that the police in southern California are violent and shoot too often, killing suspects who were innocent of any serious crime.  Recent protests in Orange County underline the fact that many groups are angry at what they see as the police department’s abuse of power.

On the other hand, many police officers feel they are constantly fighting for their lives.  Gang activity and the prevalence of dangerous weapons on the street mean that police officers are at risk for being gunned down at any time.   This makes it likely that when a suspect attempts to fight or run and in the process hurts police, he will be treated more violently than one who surrenders.

Do The Police Have Liability for This Death?

It is very likely that the victim’s family could explore the possibility of a wrongful death suit.  While it is more difficult to prove wrongful death when the victim is engaged in criminal activity, it is not impossible.  A good personal injury attorney should examine the case and help the victim’s family understand their rights.

Previous post:

Next post: