A shootout between a homicide suspect and law enforcement officials that left one person dead created a "very scary" experience for some Southern California residents Wednesday afternoon.
LA County Sheriff’s deputies were in the unincorporated area of Apple Valley around 5 p.m. when they located a homicide suspect driving a pickup truck and followed him, according to Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. The suspect stopped at the northeast corner of Bear Valley Road and Central Avenue, exited the vehicle and an immediate exchange of gunfire occurred, officials said.
The Miller family was in their car at the intersection at the time of the standoff. They used a cellphone camera to document what was happening in front of their eyes.
"I saw lots of cops and some of were on the ground shooting bullets, dirt and it’s bouncing off. I mean, I think one of those cops hit a guy," the Miller’s 6-year-old son said.
Chris Miller, who was driving with his son and pregnant wife, told his family to remain calm, telling them "just don’t move, just don’t move."
"All I can really say is (the shooting) was over-excessive. It was a lot of rounds fired at one man, and even after he was on the ground, they were still shooting," Chris Miller said. "(How) do you explain to a 6-year-old, the difference between good cops and bad cops. Now, it’s right out in the open, you know?"
According to Chris Miller’s wife Crystal, the area around the shooting was not controlled, as there were no barriers blocking the scene of the exchange.
"I wanted to hide, I wanted to run away," Crystal Miller said. "Even as the shooting was going on, there were cars going by."
The intersection was closed through the night and was expected to reopen Thursday morning. The investigation is ongoing.
A female deputy suffered minor injuries.
The homicide suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.