A driver was fatally shot on the 10 Freeway in Fontana Wednesday at the end of a dangerous pursuit of a stolen big rig that was traveling in the wrong direction, officials said.
California Highway Patrol began chasing the suspect shortly before midnight on the 210 Freeway in the San Bernardino area, where a big rig was seen heading the wrong way, CHP Officer Ramon Duran said.
The chase continued for about an hour, with the driver traveling on to the 10 Freeway, going head-on into incoming traffic.
As a chopper directed them from overhead, officers met the truck with a road block near Sierra Avenue, where the driver attempted a U-turn with the large vehicle, Duran said.
As the driver tried to move the big rig, officers moved in to try to stop him.
That’s when officers shot the driver, who was later pronounced dead. It’s unclear what prompted law enforcement to open fire. The unidentified suspect was only described as being a man.
Another person who was in the truck was taken into custody, Duran said. Video showed officers detaining a man with a bandaged arm at the scene.
CHP officers were seen performing CPR on someone on the freeway next to the semi-truck, video showed. What appeared to be four bullet holes were visible in the big rig’s windshield and its driver-side window appeared shattered.
Duran told KTLA the chase was “extremely dangerous.”
“We’re not talking about a small vehicle. We’re talking about a big rig here,” the officer said. “What could have happened could have been catastrophic. Obviously we’re fortunate that no innocent victims were injured during this incident.”
During the chase, drivers were advised to stay off freeways in the Inland Empire.
The 10 Freeway’s eastbound lanes were shut down completely at the site of the shooting. CHP at 5 a.m. said lanes will remain closed at Sierra for at least six to seven more hours.
The westbound lanes of the freeway were initially closed at Cedar Avenue but later reopened earlier Wednesday.
No officers were injured during the incident.
“A big rig is something that’s very difficult to stop once momentum is going, so we’re fortunate that the vehicle did come to a stop and no one else was injured,” Duran said.
The big rig had been stolen from the 5400 block of Industrial Parkway in San Bernardino, according to San Bernardino Police Department Sgt. John Echevarria.
It was first spotted in Colton by local police who started chasing it before letting CHP take over the chase, according to the sergeant.
Details of the shooting remained scarce Wednesday morning and no further details were immediately available.