MONTEBELLO, Calif. – A gunman driving a suspected stolen car led police on a wild chase on roads and freeways east of Los Angeles, smashing into other cars and veering through oncoming traffic before he stole a second car at gunpoint and ran down a crowded street before Los Angeles police opened fire, wounded him and finally arrested him.
Officers shot the man as he ran on a roadway and appeared to be trying to steal yet another car before he was handcuffed and taken to a hospital in an ambulance, police spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said.
Police did not release the name or condition of the man, but said he was still alive several hours after the Monday night shooting and is between 20 and 30 years old.
The woman whose car was stolen at gunpoint on live TV was not hurt but was deeply shaken afterward.
"He just came up to me and pointed the gun at me and told me to get out of my car," Elizabeth Yarahuan, 22, told KABC-TV as she tried to fight back tears. "I unbuckled myself and I opened the door and ran out. It was horrible. I don't wish that on nobody."
The chase began about 5 p.m. with officers answering a report of a possible stolen car east of downtown, police said.
The Toyota 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 Yarahuan's car 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, but there was no immediate word on whether any other motorists were hurt.
Driver Martha Duron said she was fine after her car was sideswiped, but it could easily have been different.
"If he would've hit me hard, in the front, I would've been gone," she told KCAL-TV. "He was going so fast."