Police Helicopter Sniper Hits Suspect Fleeing by Car

He is dead, and subsequent crash injures 3 people
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2015 8:00 AM CDT
The windshield of the suspect's car is shattered.   (Francine orr/Los Angeles Times via AP)

(Newser) – A driver who led authorities on a 100-mph freeway chase was struck by gunfire from a San Bernardino County sheriff's helicopter before dying. The shooting was the seventh from a sheriff's helicopter since the mid-1980s, when deputies began receiving regular training in using weapons from the air, spokeswoman Jodi Miller said. The last occurred in 2001. Friday's chase began in Devore, east of Los Angeles, when deputies tried to pull over a man believed to have committed a home invasion robbery there a day earlier, authorities said. The beige Chevrolet Tahoe instead led deputies on an afternoon chase through neighboring cities at 100mph or more. The SUV blew through stop signs and red lights, narrowly missed pedestrians, and then began heading the wrong way on northbound Interstate 215.

In Muscoy, a deputy opened fire from a helicopter, hitting the SUV several times and wounding the driver, who jumped out of the moving car and ran a few yards before collapsing and dying on the side of the roadway, authorities said. The official cause of death will await an autopsy, a Sheriff's Department statement said. It didn't indicate how many times the driver was wounded. His SUV, meanwhile, kept moving and crashed head-on into a Dodge Durango. A man and a 13-year-old boy were treated at a hospital and released, but a woman remains hospitalized.

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