A man who allegedly struck a deputy with his vehicle as he led authorities on a chase Friday morning was hospitalized after deputies opened fire, wounding him in South Gate, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect’s age and identity has not been released.
He was the subject of a family disturbance reported shortly before 9 a.m. in Bellflower, when the caller told authorities her brother was under the influence of drugs and may be suicidal, according to the department.
But he wasn’t at the home when deputies got to the scene 20 minutes later.
From there, he would be accused of a possible kidnapping and police chase in nearby South Gate that would end in a deputy being injured and himself being shot and hospitalized. It all came to an end about an hour later outside the same Bellflower home deputies responded to earlier.
Sky5 was over the scene as first responders escorted him on a stretcher into an ambulance at 9:55 a.m. in the 9000 block of Prichard Street.
Ann Marie Casas, who says her 26-year-old son is the suspect, said she called 911 earlier to report he was possibly suicidal and had drank bleach around 4 a.m.
“Today is my brother’s funeral. My son hasn’t been doing very well,” she said, adding that she asked for an ambulance but authorities would not dispatch one since he had not threatened anyone.
She said her son then left for his girlfriend’s job.
Sometime after he left the home, another woman called authorities and reported she was being held against her will along an area of Garfield Avenue in South Gate about 2 and a half miles away, L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred told reporters.
She gave a suspect description that matched the one in the family disturbance on Prichard Street, Alfred said, and investigators believe she’s possibly the same suspect’s girlfriend.
Deputies then began searching for the man now believed to be a possible kidnapping suspect.
They found a white pickup truck matching the suspect description but it sped away when deputies tried pulling over the driver, Alfred said.
He led deputies on a chase, driving erratically as he maneuvered the vehicle around stopped traffic at an intersection in South Gate while deputies were still following, as seen in cell phone footage.
Just north of the intersection of Garfield Avenue and Century Boulevard in South Gate, Alfred said, the pursuing deputies got out of their vehicles to throw a spike strip toward the suspect as he drove around traffic that had come to a halt.
But Alfred said he made an “abrupt left turn” toward a deputy and South Gate police officer who were standing in the intersection waiting to throw the spike strip — hitting a female deputy in the arm and thigh.
Alfred said deputies then fired shots, which can be heard in cell phone footage of the scene. The department has said the shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m.
But the wounded driver kept fleeing southbound toward Prichard Street in Bellflower, Alfred said, apparently traveling back to the home where the family disturbance was reported earlier.
Deputies managed to get into the home through a back door after getting information the suspect’s younger brother was inside, Alfred said. Casas said the suspect’s 14-year-old brother was the one inside at the time.
The suspect left through the front door and was detained without incident, according to Alfred.
He had suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and had to undergo surgery, Alfred said. No other details about his condition have been released.
Meanwhile, the deputy he allegedly struck had been released by the time Alfred spoke to reporters around 1:40 p.m.
As first responders arrived to the scene in Bellflower, the white pickup truck he was driving was seen pushed against another vehicle.
Casas was at the scene waiting to try seeing her son and was still trying to figure out what had happened after he left to see his girlfriend.
“From there, I don’t what happened. The next thing I know — we’re on our way to the girlfriend’s job, the police are chasing him,” Casas said.
She said she also called 911 again to tell authorities her son did not have any weapons and “that he wasn’t stable and that he needed help.”
Earlier, she said, authorities had told her that they would complete a mental evaluation if her son came back to the home but could not otherwise give assistance. She was still struggling to find out the details of her son’s alleged crimes as he was being taken from the scene.
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know all the details but they shot him,” Casas said.
No other details have been released as the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information can contact the department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can reach L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-8477, using the smartphone app “P3 Tips” found on Google Play and the Apple Store or by visiting http://lacrimestoppers.org.