LA carjacking suspect dead after chase

Feb. 25, 2012 at 2:23 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Los Angeles police who shot and killed a man in a gas station parking lot at the end of a slow-speed chase said they opened fire after he "pulled his revolver."

The shooting, at about 6:30 p.m. PST Thursday, came at the end of the second carjacking of the day by the suspect, 22-year-old Shoncy Thaopraseuth, of San Bernadino, investigators said.

Thaopraseuth had carjacked a vehicle in San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles, at about 3:30 p.m., before stealing a sedan at gunpoint from a 65-year-old man in East LA, KTLA-TV reported.

During a low-speed pursuit along several freeways and through Hollywood -- at one point, not far from the theater where the Academy Awards will be presented Sunday -- Thaopraseuth appeared to be brandishing a gun, police said. When he pulled into a gas station in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles, police surrounded the car he was driving -- telling bystanders at gas pumps to get down, said LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith.

"When he pulled out his revolver and pointed it at people inside the store, the officers took action, fired their rounds and the suspect expired at the scene," Smith said.

Eleven officers fired more than 60 shots, the Los Angeles Times reported. Citing sources it did not identify, the Times said an LAPD investigation would likely focus on the number of officers who fired their weapons.

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