WARNING: This article discusses suicide.
A man is dead after a high-speed pursuit sped through several Orange County cities and ended in a fiery crash and suicide in Costa Mesa, authorities announced Thursday evening.
Officers with the Garden Grove Police Department initiated a traffic stop of a brown pickup truck in the area of Harbor Boulevard and Westminster Avenue at around 4:25 p.m., according to a GGPD news release.
While the driver of the pickup initially looked as if he was going to pull over, he suddenly accelerated, and a police pursuit ensued.
“The pursuit traveled through multiple cities at which time officers were able to observe that the driver was armed with a firearm,” the release stated. “Officers eventually discontinued the pursuit when the suspect’s driving became reckless and posed a danger to public safety.”
Authorities continued to track the suspect’s vehicle from a police helicopter.
When the driver entered the intersection of Victoria Street and Placentia Avenue, a crash with another vehicle occurred.
Authorities did not say if the vehicle the suspect crashed into was occupied or if anyone else was injured in the incident.
“Responding officers heard gunshots and located the vehicle near the intersection,” the release noted. “The suspect vehicle was blocked by the citizen’s vehicle it collided with and it remained in drive causing the tires to remain in motion.”
As the tires deteriorated, police said it sparked a fire, and the vehicle became engulfed in flames.
Video of the scene obtained by KTLA shows the intense flames coming from the truck causing several more explosions.
“After the Costa Mesa Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire, the male driver was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a firearm was located in the vehicle,” authorities said.
The identity of the man has not been released.
Anyone with information about this ongoing investigation is asked to contact Det. Estlow at 714-741-5830.