Car Chase Ends in Fatal Shooting in San Bernardino

A car chase culminated in a fatal officer-involved shooting in San Bernardino Friday afternoon after multiple assaults on police officers, authorities said.

Officers were pursuing the driver of a stolen white Scion at the time, according to Lt. Richard Lawhead of the San Bernardino Police Department.

Cell phone video provided by witnesses shows an initial stop on the freeway after the stolen car was rammed by a police car.

After a little more than a minute of being surounded by officers, the suspect drove off in the stolen Scion. He allegedly caused multiple accidents in trying to evade police.

At one point, the driver aimed the car at officers, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.

Police said the owner reported the SUV stolen from a health care center in Banning, 40 miles from San Bernardino, and then it was tracked down by GPS. During the chase, the driver was throwing items out of the car window, including a laptop. It's not yet clear if the man was armed.

A second cell phone video shows the moments when the chase ended near the 215 Freeway's University Parkway exit, about a mile from the first stop, where the man was fatally shot following a standoff with officers. Police said he tried to use the car to ram the officers and they had no choice but to open fire.

No officers were injured.

Five officers shot at the suspect, firing off at least 18 rounds.

Witnesses said they could not believe what they were seeing. At least two dozen drivers were stopped about 40 yards from where the shooting happened.

"Just a lot of adrenaline, man. We got scared. You know, we were just watching the whole thing. It was surreal," said Thomas Rivera, who was on the freeway behind the officers during the standoff.

Another witness said the whole drama unfolded quickly.

"Everybody just stopped... and started shooting as soon as they got out of the car," said Jose Garcia.

"They gave him a chance to surrender, he didn't take it and they unloaded into the vehicle," another witness said.

The northbound 215 in the area of the incident at University Parkway remained closed while police investigated. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area and were being rerouted onto surface streets and the 210 Freeway. It reopened at 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Frustrated drivers were stuck in the traffic mayhem as they headed into a three-day weekend.

"He died over a car, huh?" said Freddie Maraz as he waited to get through the gridlock.

Others headed long distances said they knew it was going to take some time.

Ariel Arellano was heading to Las Vegas.

"It's going to be a long night," she said.

Police are asking for anyone with cellphone video of the incident to contact the San Bernardino Police Department.

Lolita Lopez, Hetty ChangRosa Ordaz and Nyree Arabian contributed to this story.

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