A man who allegedly kidnapped a woman and may have sexually assaulted her was fatally shot by deputies in South L.A. early Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The ordeal began about 4 a.m., when officials at the South Los Angeles sheriff’s station received a call about a woman being kidnapped at gunpoint near the intersection of 103rd and Figueroa streets.
The man had allegedly forced the victim into his vehicle and drove away. A friend of the victim learned of the kidnapping, spotted the suspect’s vehicle and started to follow it in the area of 127th Street and Budlong Avenue, officials said in a news release.
At that point, the suspect stopped his silver SUV, got out and shot at the friend and another occupied vehicle in the area, according to the department.
He then got back into the vehicle, with the victim still inside, and continued driving.
Deputies responded to the area and found the suspect’s vehicle in a parking lot along the 11600 block of Vermont Avenue.
They approached the vehicle on foot and saw the windows were fogged up and that the victim was
“unclothed” in the backseat, officials said.
“As the suspect began to accelerate, the unclothed victim managed to escape out of the rear door,” and she was rescued by the deputies, authorities said. It is unclear if the victim was sexually assaulted, Deputy Grace Medrano told KTLA, citing the ongoing investigation.
The man continued north on Vermont Avenue and deputies initiated a pursuit. He eventually crashed into a gate at the end of a cul-de-sac on 108th Street in the Vermont Vista neighborhood of South L.A., then got out of the vehicle and ran away.
That’s when officials said a deputy-involved shooting occurred.
The man was fatally shot and deputies were not injured. It is unclear if the man fired his weapon, but a firearm was recovered at the scene.
The suspect was only described as being in his mid 40s.
No further details about the incident have been released.