A 19-year-old Canoga Park man was fatally shot, and another teen was shot in the arm, by undercover California Highway Patrol officers working on a task force aimed at illegal street racing, CHP officers said Sunday.
The men were shot at about 10:50 p.m. Sunday at Pritchard and Commonwealth avenues, near the Fullerton Municipal Airport, said CHP Officer Alex Rubio.
Two officers were involved in the shooting, CHP Capt. David Moeller told City News Service from the scene.
"We were following some people," Moeller said of the events leading up to the shooting.
The undercover officers had initially began tracking the suspects' truck in South Gate at a sideshow -- an illegal car club gathering that often includes dangerous stunts -- a law enforcement source speaking on condition of anonymity told the Los Angeles Times.
The Orange County coroner's office confirmed that Canoga Park native Pedro Villanueva died in the incident.
The other man, who was 18, was shot in the arm and taken to a hospital for treatment of his gunshot wound and then released pending further investigation, Kathryn Hamel of the Fullerton Police Department said.
Hamel said the CHP officers were working undercover and driving an unmarked car. The surveillance extended from Los Angeles down to Fullerton.
"The CHP officers attempted to stop the truck on Pritchard, north of Gregory," Hamel said. "The truck made a U-turn and drove directly into the path of the officers. Both officers engaged the vehicle and an officer-involved shooting occurred."
The suspects had struck another vehicle prior to driving toward the unmarked vehicle carrying the CHP officers, the Times reported, citing the same law enforcement source.
Hamel didn't know if the men who were shot knew the two CHP officers were law enforcement officers when they tried to make the stop on the car.
"Their (CHP) car was equipped with lights," she said.
However, she didn't know if the lights were on when the stop was attempted or whether the undercover officers had a dash cam in their car that was operating at the time of the stop.
"Those are all good questions," she said. "People are asking them and I'm sure we'll have the answers when the investigation is completed."
Hamel said the Fullerton police, in conjunction with the CHP, was doing the criminal portion of the investigation, which extended from the surveillance up to the OIS.
The Orange County district attorney's office was handling the investigation of the OIS, she explained.
Police asked anyone with information on the OIS to call Fullerton police at (714) 738-6800. Tipsters can also call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.