A bicyclist was struck and killed Sunday by a hit-and-run motorist driving an SUV in unincorporated Anaheim, and a chase across Orange County ended with a police shooting in Seal Beach.
Encarnación Salazar Muñoz, 52, was struck about 5:30 a.m. in the 9500 block of Ball Road in Anaheim, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The suspect vehicle and its driver, 25-year-old Jason Rocha, were chased across northern Orange County to Seal Beach Boulevard at Westminster Avenue, where Rocha crashed and then was shot at by a Seal Beach police officer.
Police say no one at the shooting was injured and Rocha was arrested.
On Sunday night, the victim's family gathered with flowers and candles at the spot where the father of three was hit while riding his bicycle. They said Muñoz was the sole provider of his family.
"He was an amazing person, a caring person, a loving person," said his niece, Jaretzi Quintana.
Rocha's father and sister attended the vigil to apologize the Muñoz's family. They told NBC4 Rocha struggled with drugs and alcohol and depression, and they believe he allegedly pretended to have a gun to commit suicide by cop — something they say Rocha tried in the past and failed.
The incident began when a 2002 Ford Expedition driven east on Ball Road veered to the right and struck Muñoz as he rode his bicycle in the same direction, said CHP Officer Duane Graham.
Rocha fled in an unknown direction, and Muñoz was pronounced dead at the scene, Graham said.
"He was a hard working man, lived for his family, just nothing but nice guy," said Muñoz's neice, Cindy Salvador.
The coroner's office was called there at 6:06 a.m.
"Anaheim (police department) subsequently and shortly thereafter came into contact with the Ford and a pursuit ensued," Graham said. Anaheim police officers spotted the SUV and tried to stop it, said Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
"Our officers lost sight of the vehicle for a minute and when they found it again, it had crashed into a fence at Seal Beach Boulevard and Westminster in Seal Beach," Wyatt said.
The pursuit ended in Seal Beach at 5:44 a.m., according to a CHP dispatcher.
"A responding Seal Beach officer discharged his firearm at the suspect as a result of the suspect's actions," said Michael Henderson, a public information officer with the Seal Beach Police Department. "There were no injuries to the officer or the suspect, and the suspect was taken into custody."
Henderson said the hit-and-run was being handled by the CHP and the Seal Beach Police Department was conducting an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help the family of Encarnacion Salazar Munoz, you may do so here. Note that GoFundMe deducts 7.9 percent of all funds raised in the form of platform and payment processing charges.
NBC4's Christine Kim contributed to this report.