A stretch of the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway in Burbank remained closed Saturday morning as police investigated shots fired by officers that occurred during the pursuit of a suspect who led authorities on a wild chase, ramming vehicles and police cruisers and driving the wrong way on the freeway.
Los Angeles Police Department officers responded at 7:30 p.m. Friday to reports of a man driving erratically in the Sunland area and began to chase a vehicle that rammed civilian and police vehicles before entering the northbound lanes of the Golden State Freeway going in the wrong direction, hitting more civilian and police vehicles, according to LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein.
The California Highway Patrol joined the pursuit and set up a roadblock on the freeway at Buena Vista Street, but the driver’s vehicle went through the barricade and an officer-involved shooting occurred, Rubenstein said. It was unclear if the suspect was struck by gunfire.
The suspect collided with another vehicle a short distance away at 9:30 p.m., barricaded himself inside his vehicle and was boxed in by a CHP vehicle, prompting the closure of all lanes of the Golden State Freeway in both directions at Buena Vista Street.
Police believe he was cutting himself throughout the chase and during the standoff, which ended when LAPD officers fired non-lethal rounds into the vehicle, Rubenstein said. The suspect was described as suicidal and in possession of a six-inch knife, KCAL9 reported.
The suspect got out of the car and laid on the ground, then abruptly jumped up and over the vehicle he collided with before being quickly taken into custody. The suspect was placed into an ambulance and taken to a hospital in unknown condition, Rubenstein said. No other injuries were reported.
“This (the chase) was one that I hadn’t seen in quite a while and just the amount of danger that everybody was in, our officers, the public because this suspect was ramming innocent bystander vehicles, as well,” Rubenstein told reporters at the scene. “This was one that I haven’t seen.”
The southbound lanes re-opened just before midnight Friday, the CHP said. It was unclear when the northbound lanes would reopen.