LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Abdul Arian, the 19-year-old pursuit suspect shot and killed by police Wednesday evening, is heard talking about turning his life around on a home video made by his former high school boxing coach.
In a story only seen on CBS2 and KCAL9, reporter Amanda Burden talked to the man who ran the Taft High School boxing program that Abdul was a member of before dropping out of school. Marvin Columbus said Arian participated for about nine months last year.
He has Arian on tape talking about how he was using the boxing program to turn his life around. Burden says when you see the interview it’s almost hard to believe that it’s the same man police shot Wednesday.
“I live back with my parents now, getting my life back on track. everything’s going well. I’m trying to get a job right now. The big thing is I got to get my grades back up.”
He says the K.O. (the boxing term for knockout) High program changed his life for the better. “I’m improving myself here and improving myself in school and following that I’m probably going to make it into the Marines and following there make it into becoming a police officer.”
Chilling words, reminds Burden, when you consider how Arian’s life ended — with dozens of rounds being fired into his body.
Columbus’ son told him the man shot on the news was Arian. “And I’m like no way, dude. No way that’s him. For real? And he said, ‘Yeah. That’s him.’”
Columbus remembers Arian as a funny, sweet kid who had no demons. He still has trouble watching the video of Arian’s final moments. “When I work with young people in school, I just want to remember them from when we worked together. When we were boxing and training…so I want to stay away from that video.”
On the home video, Arian also talks about the time he had a scrape with the law. And how he left the LAPD Cadets Explorer program. He thought the boxing program would keep him on track. “Finally I can do something with my life because every time I tried to do something I always give up. I was like, it’s not worth it.”
During the chase, Arian reportedly told a 911 dispatcher that he had a gun. When he fled his vehicle on the 101, he ran from police, refused an order to stop and on at least two occasions crouched in the firing position.
Police later said Arian was unarmed. Arian’s uncle theorized that he was holding his cell phone.
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