WOODLAND HILLS - The southbound lanes of the Ventura (101)
Freeway -- one of the region's major arteries -- were reopened today
after a nightlong closure prompted by an investigation into the fatal
shooting of a 19- year-old Winnetka man by Los Angeles police officers
at the end of a car chase.
The shooting occurred on the freeway in Woodland Hills shortly before
10 p.m. Wednesday, triggering a probe by investigators from the Los
Angeles Police Department's Force Investigation Division and the Los
Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Until the southbound lanes were re-opened at 8 a.m., motorists were
diverted at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and allowed to re-enter the
southbound lanes at Winnetka Avenue, the California Highway Patrol
Los Angeles police have not said whether the man who was shot and
killed by officers was armed. The man's family identified him as Abdul
Arian and said he was unarmed. An uncle said the young man both wanted
to be a police officer and feared police, and he wondered aloud if
officers could have used non-lethal force.
The man, who was suspected of reckless driving, was shot after
exiting his car on the southbound 101 Freeway at the end of a chase,
said Officer Gregory Baek of the LAPD's Media Relations office.
Officers from the LAPD's Devonshire Station first stopped the
suspect's car around 9:50 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Plummer Street
and Shirley Avenue in Northridge, said Officer Karen Rayner of LAPD
Media Relations. The man sped away from the stop and drove recklessly,
running red lights, before getting onto the freeway, she said.
He exited the freeway at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and re-entered on the southbound side, LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said.
The chase ended on the freeway at Canoga Avenue with the suspect
fleeing through the passenger side door of his car, which was turned
sideways in the middle of lanes. A squad car was driven into the
driver's side door.
The suspect could be seen in television footage pointing at officers
as he ran, but it was unclear if he had anything in his hand. Either
way, the gesture was followed by police fire, and the man was pronounced
dead at the scene.
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