A gunman driving a suspected stolen car led police on a wild chase east of Los Angeles on Monday evening, smashing into other cars and veering through oncoming traffic before he stole a second car at gunpoint and ran running down a crowded street before Los Angeles police opened fire and finally arrested him.

Officers shot at the man before he ended up handcuffed on a roadway, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he was hit, Los Angeles police officer Drake Madison said.

Televised news reports showed the man being loaded into an ambulance. He was taken away in unknown condition.

The chase began at about 5 p.m. with officers answering a report of a possible stolen car east of downtown, police said.

The Toyota Camry sped through South Gate and other cities southeast of Los Angeles. The car zoomed through traffic, sometimes going the wrong way, and struck cars at least four times before it was finally unable to continue.

The man, wearing a white T-shirt, jumped out and tried to steal another car. As television news helicopters hovered overhead, he pulled what appeared to be a gun, stole another car from a woman and took off.

That car raced along Interstate 710 and state Route 60 with at least eight patrol cars in pursuit.

The car finally veered onto an offramp and onto a Montebello street, where it became wedged between two other vehicles in traffic.

The man jumped out and pulled open a door on a stopped SUV as police chased him. He tried to stop another car that took off before pursuing officers took him down.

No officers were hurt.

There was no immediate word on whether any other motorists were hurt.