SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A pursuit suspect died Friday afternoon after he was fired upon in his car by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputy in a helicopter. In the wake of the incident, traffic was snarled on the northbound 215 Freeway in San Bernardino, south of the Cajon Pass.
Authorities reopened the 215 Freeway on Saturday morning. On Sunday morning, authorities identified the driver fired upon to be Nicholas Alan Johnson, 32, of Fontana.
The pursuit began in Fontana shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, as authorities attempted to make the suspect pull over. The suspect, who authorities said was wanted in connection with a home invasion that took place Thursday, sped off.
In the course of the pursuit, the suspect’s SUV sped up to 100 mph as it traveled the wrong way on the northbound 215 Freeway.
Attempting to stop the driver, a deputy fired multiple shots at the suspect’s vehicle from a helicopter.
The suspect then got out of his moving SUV near Little League Drive, where the suspect’s SUV slammed into another SUV traveling on the freeway.
The suspect collapsed nearby and was pronounced dead.
As authorities investigated the scene on Friday evening, all northbound lanes of the 215 freeway on Friday evening were closed. The closures were causing a backup for miles, all the way to the 210 Freeway.
For traffic updates, listen live to KNX 1070.
Three people who were in the SUV that was struck by the suspect’s vehicle were critically injured, KCAL9’s Tom Wait reported. No deputies were injured.
In the chaos of the pursuit, motorist Andrew Glaser said, a window in his car was shattered, showering his 5-year-old daughter in the back seat “with broken glass. He said he was unsure whether debris or a bullet caused the window to shatter. The girl was uninjured.
“I’ve heard gunshot before and gunfire, and it definitely sounded pretty startling there,” Glaser said.
Glaser said he swept the rear seats in a search for bullet fragments but didn’t find any.