A man fatally shot by Santa Ana police after they said he drove his car at officers was identified as Binh Van Nguyen.
The shooting happened at 12:45 a.m. on Friday on Maxine and Third streets, a high-crime neighborhood near an area known for prostitution, said Santa Ana Police Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman.
Police were investigating why the 39-year-old man was in the car in a high crime neighborhood, police said. He had prior arrests that included assault with a deadly weapon, narcotic violations, probation violations and terrorists threats, Bertagna said. At the time he was shot, he was not on parole or probation.
Patrol officers spotted the man in the backseat of a car. When they approached, police said, the man jumped into the front seat, put the car in gear and started to drive at the officers, in an attempt to “strike them,” Bertagna said.
Bertagna said he didn’t know whether the man was armed, whether he was alone in the car or whether there was evidence the man had broken in or was attempting to steal the vehicle.
It was the second officer-involved shooting in the city so far in 2013, Bertagna said.
A felon on parole who approached officers with a gun outside his Santa Ana home was shot by police on Jan. 4.