A carjacking suspect who stole two cars on Thursday and led police on an auto chase is dead after police opened fire, spraying his car with a myriad of bullets. And the moment was all caught on video.
Police say the suspect began brandishing his weapon and pointing it at people at a local Shell gas station, prompting them to take action. But police have come under scrutiny because a bystander can be seen ducking for cover -- with the gas nozzle still in his vehicle -- as the bullets whiz by just feet away.
The shootout was played live on local TV, much to the horror of some anchors:
KABC-TV has more background:
Authorities are saying that more than one officer opened fire on the suspect, but they are not saying how many officers or how many rounds.
The violence erupted at 7:30 p.m. at the Shell station at Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. The male suspect with long hair who some mistook as a woman was dead at the scene and his car was riddled with bullet holes.
One customer was caught in the crossfire as he was pumping gas and ducked on the ground.
Investigators say it all began when the 20-year-old suspect carjacked a woman in San Bernardino just before 3:30 p.m. Three hours later, police say the suspect then abandoned that vehicle and carjacked a 65-year-old man at gunpoint in East Los Angeles. A short time later, police spotted that vehicle and a chase ensued for about an hour.
The suspect drove through Hollywood and Koreatown before pulling into the gas station.
The station also interviewed eyewitnesses, one who said the police fired approximately "20 times or 30 times:"
“I saw a guy with a gun behind my car and after that the police came,” Harry Hahn, the bystander, told KCLA-TV. “Police said, ‘Just go down!’”