DOWNEY (CBSLA) – A pursuit of a murder suspect in the Commerce area led to a gun battle where the man was shot multiple times, authorities said.
The chase ended in a standoff Friday afternoon with the female driver also shot and wounded. Authorities said the woman was expected to be okay. The male suspect, believed to have killed a liquor store owner on Tuesday, was on the operating table for hours.
The pursuit ended in Vernon.
The female driver, identified by neighbors as Alison Hart, was taken into custody.
After a standoff that lasted more than an hour, officials said the suspect was being hooked up to an IV.
Stu Mundel reporting in SKY9 said after police fired a flashbang canister into the vehicle there was no movement. Officers and SWAT personnel kept their guns drawn as they tried to determine whether the suspect was alive. Initially, they were sure he was dead as they did not observe movement in the car for some time.
After another half hour, and allegedly after sending a K-9 officer into the vehicle, paramedics on scene decided the suspect was alive but in a weakened state. He was transported to a nearby hospital. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, he was still in critical condition as of Saturday morning.
A robotic officer had also been sent to approach the vehicle.
During the chase, authorities said they believed the suspect was the man wanted in a murder of a liquor store owner in Downey on Tuesday.
Friday evening, police confirmed the suspect in the shootout was indeed the man wanted for killing the Downey store owner.
At a press conference Friday evening, authorities did not say how Hart and the male suspect were related. They did say they were working together.
Downey police were looking for a murder suspect and believed they found the man outside a home in Maywood. Police said the suspect jumped into a black Prius with the woman driving and the chase began.
Authorities reported the man was shot “multiple” times and was in surgery. Hart, they said, was also shot. Both face multiple charges including attempted murder and assault on an officer.
No officers were wounded during the shootout with the suspects. An innocent driver was grazed by a bullet during the shootout.
The chase and shootout shocked and terrified police and passersby alike.
“I just saw the gun and I was shocked. My mind was just racing and then I ducked,” said Valerie Lopez. She was with her sister, on their way to a cousin’s house, when they drove right into the shootout. They were afraid for their lives.
“It was terrifying,” Lopez said, “seeing how angry he was and how intense it was.”
Even SKY9’s Mundel who has seen mostly everything was in disbelief.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “I just can’t believe all the stuff we’re seeing out here.”