The coroner’s office Friday identified a 41-year-old man killed inside a Downey restaurant in a deputy-involved shooting at the end of a 45-minute car chase.
Eddie Tapia — suspected of vehicle theft and carjacking a second vehicle — led law enforcement personnel on a high-speed chase before running into Chris’ and Pitt’s barbecue restaurant at 9243 Lakewood Blvd. around 7:45 p.m. Thursday, where he was shot and killed, officials said.
Tapia fired shots as he ran toward the restaurant after the car he was driving crashed into another vehicle following a PIT maneuver by a California Highway Patrol officer.
After Tapia ran into the restaurant, dozens of people began exiting and were corralled by law enforcement officers who surrounded the business with guns drawn.
The suspect was shot and killed after SWAT deputies from the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau entered the restaurant, said sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Parker.
No officers or deputies were injured.
The chase, which reached speeds of around 80 mph, began in an unincorporated area near Whittier and continued north, mostly on surface streets but also on the Long Beach (710) Freeway, as the suspect raced through Monterey Park, Montebello and East Los Angeles for about 45 minutes before heading south to Downey.
A sheriff’s helicopter picked up a LoJack signal from a stolen car and as deputies on the ground headed to the location, the chopper pilot and an observer saw the suspect carjack another vehicle at gunpoint on See Drive, Parker said.
During the chase, the suspect weaved through traffic, at times driving on the wrong side of the street. The car driven by the suspect collided with at least one vehicle during the chase, Parker said.
— City News Service
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