Crime & Justice

Protesters gather after police fatally shoot man following car chase in South LA

A crowd of protestors and media grows at 108th and Western Ave in South L.A. after police shot and killed a man they say led them on a vehicle pursuit and drew a firearm.
A crowd of protestors and media grows at 108th and Western Ave in South L.A. after police shot and killed a man they say led them on a vehicle pursuit and drew a firearm.
Annie Gilbertson/ KPCC
A crowd of protestors and media grows at 108th and Western Ave in South L.A. after police shot and killed a man they say led them on a vehicle pursuit and drew a firearm.
Police stand behind caution tape at the scene of an officer-involved shooting that left an 18-year-old man dead. Officers say he produced a hand gun after leading them on a car chase.
Annie Gilbertson/ KPCC


Police have shot and killed an 18 year-old man in south Los Angeles Saturday afternoon after he led officers a car chase and was seen running from the area with a gun drawn, LAPD said.

Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the driver and passenger of a suspected stolen car took off running when officers tried to pull them over around 1 p.m. Saturday.

Video: LAPD responds to shooting in South LA

The driver fled on foot and is still on the loose, Montgomery said.

Montgomery said the car's passenger ran into the back of a home near 107th St. and Western Ave where he was shot. Police said the officer who fired feared for his life.

A law enforcement official at the scene told KPCC they've recovered surveillance video from nearby businesses that show the suspect running with a gun, and they've tweeted that a gun was recovered at the scene.

Barbara Starnes was at a laundromat nearby when she saw the chase start. 

"I seen some guys running," she said. "I didn’t hear the shots but the next thing – I came out and I seen the police."

Witnesses told KNX they heard four shots.

The shooting drew a large number of angry bystanders from the neighborhood. The crowd grew larger as protestors from other areas came to the scene. 

Angelene Erwing drove to the scene and growing protest as soon as she heard about the shooting.

"They are killing us. They are taking our kids away, and I don’t understand why," she said. "Come on, everyone can’t be doing something wrong. It’s going over and over again. When are they going to take responsibility?"
 
Trevor Gerard is one of many members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles who joined the protest Saturday evening.   

"This is a part of a culture of violence that black people in this country have experienced since we were first brought here," he said. "That has never ended."

Sgt. Montgomery called for calm while detectives collected information. 

"You see members of the inspector general’s office here as well as members of the District Attorney’s Office here," he said. "All of these parties are a part of this investigation and it’s important that they do it thoroughly."  

Video: Protesters at South LA shooting scene

Saturday's incident follows several high-profile police shootings of black men, including a fatal shooting in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon Tuesday that prompted protests throughout the week. 

This story has been updated.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this post stated police had told KPCC  the deceased was a documented gang member. KPCC has not been able to verify that information. We've since removed it from this post.