Two men were hospitalized following a shootout between deputies and a man who opened fire on them after a pursuit ended in a crash in Long Beach on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The incident began around 10:25 a.m. when deputies from the Carson Sheriff's Station located a reported stolen vehicle in the area of Wilmington Avenue and the 405 Freeway, said Lt. Scott Hoglund.
The vehicle, a Chevy Silverado pickup truck, was occupied by two men who were believed to have been armed, according to the sheriff's lieutenant.
Deputies tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the truck wouldn't yield and continued eastbound on Carson Street, Hoglund said.
The chase lasted approximately 5 to 6 minutes before the driver attempted to maneuver around a spike strip, drove over the center median, lost control and crashed near Via Oro Avenue.
At that point, the “front passenger exited the vehicle and immediately began firing a handgun at pursuing deputies," Hoglund said.
Witness Jesse Navarro told KTLA he saw one of the occupants brandish a gun and open fire on the deputies. He reported seeing one of the men shoot at law enforcement first, and then they returned gunfire.
Only the passenger was involved in the shootout, according to Hoglund. The driver did not shoot.
He said seven deputies opened fire in the incident.
Both men were struck an unknown amount of time by bullets.
The two wounded men, each lying in the street, appeared visibly bloodied as they were taken away by stretchers into separate ambulances, Sky5 video showed.
They were both transported to a local hospital in unknown condition, according the Sheriff's Department. Neither has been identified.
A weapon was recovered at the scene, Hoglund said.
No deputies were injured in the shooting.
A barrage of gunfire was evident at the scene, as bullet holes visibly pierced multiple law enforcement vehicles as well as the pickup, which had jumped the curb and was stopped on the sidewalk, the aerial footage showed.
“At this point, based on the gunbattle occurred, we can’t really say which rounds came from which person," Hoglund said.
The street remained cordoned off with crime scene tape hours after the shooting. People have been urged to avoid the area amid the investigation.
No additional information was immediately released.
The Sheriff's Department is asking for witnesses to come forward, and anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.