Police shot and wounded a driver after a crash that followed a pursuit of a robbery suspect in Long Beach Sunday night, officials said.
The incident unfolded after police in Signal Hill got a call around 10:45 p.m. about an armed robbery at a grocery store.
Arriving officers were pointed to a silver Honda Accord that was leaving the grocery store parking lot.
When they tried to contact the driver, the suspect fled, kickstarting a vehicle pursuit, Long Beach Police Department officials said.
Signal Hill police lost sight of the vehicle in the area of Willow Street and Atlantic Avenue, and sent out a description to the Long Beach Police Department, which broadcast that information to officers in the area.
Just before 11 p.m., Long Beach officers came across a two-vehicle traffic collision in the area of Harbor Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway.
One of the vehicles involved in the crash matched the description of the vehicle that Signal Hill officers had been chasing, according to the Police Department. The Honda was found unoccupied.
A witness told officers the the driver ran from the crash scene, and pointed him out near the corner of Esther Street and Harbor Avenue, according to the department.
“Officers contacted the suspect and noticed a firearm in the suspect’s front right pant pocket. As officers were attempting to arrest the suspect, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Long Beach Police Department officials said in a news release.
It’s unclear what prompted police to open fire.
The driver, identified as 28-year-old Leonides Enriquez of Bellflower, was taken to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition Monday morning.
Police said they recovered a loaded firearm at the scene.
Enriquez is a “prohibited possessor,” and although he remained hospitalized, he was being held on $35,000 bail and was booked on suspicion of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, police said.
Detectives later learned that the 2020 Honda Accord had been stolen earlier in the day outside of our jurisdiction, according to the Police Department.
No officers were injured during the incident and no further details were immediately available.
The agency will be investigating the incident while the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office conducts another, independent investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Long Beach Police Homicide detectives Michael Hutchinson and Michael Hubbard at 562-570-7244.