Lancaster, California: A bank robbery suspect was cornered on a northern Los Angeles County cul-de-sac and shot to death Friday on live television after he apparently fired at sheriff’s deputies from his car, authorities said.
The man died at the scene at around 10.15am after televised news reports showed a single bullet trail plowing through the glass from inside a sport utility vehicle, followed by a fusillade of shots that punctured the windshield and blew out the back window.
The man’s identity was not immediately released.
Deputies began chasing the SUV after a gunman robbed a Bank of America branch at about 9.15am in Santa Clarita, about 56 kilometres northwest of downtown Los Angeles, sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said.
The chase went north about 72 kilometres on a mountain highway into the Antelope Valley area of the Mojave Desert and along the way a spike strip flattened one of the suspect’s front tires. The suspect exited the highway in the high desert city of Lancaster and was forced to stop when he turned down a dead-end street.
Sheriff’s patrol cars boxed in the vehicle after it tried to turn around, and deputies ordered the man out at gunpoint.
The man, wearing a camouflage jacket, got out, stood by the driver’s door and appeared to toss money into the street, but he refused repeated orders to show his hands, Parker said.
The man then got back into the car and closed the door. Gunfire exploded a minute or two later.
Parker said it appeared that the man fired at deputies, who then shot him.
“They didn’t fire until the suspect came at them,” he said.
The shooting was captured by TV news helicopters overhead and aired live on local television.
No deputies were hit. The shooting was under investigation.