Three dead, including suspect, in ‘random’ string of LA car shootings

Police kill suspected gunman after a pursuit and standoff on a Los Angeles freeway

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 28 April 2021 22:17
A LAPD police officer stands at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Sunset Boulevard where a body covered in a white sheet lies on the pavement in Los Angeles on 24 April, 2021
A LAPD police officer stands at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Sunset Boulevard where a body covered in a white sheet lies on the pavement in Los Angeles on 24 April, 2021

Police killed a man suspected of shooting and killing two individuals in "random" attacks in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, a shooter fired on five locations throughout Los Angeles, killing one man in a Starbucks drive-through and an Uber driver, before he was confronted and killed by police. He wounded another individual.

Carlos Lopez, 50, was killed during a shoot-out with police in Fullerton following the shooting spree.

According to NBC Los Angeles, police have not identified a motive, and believe the victims were randomly chosen.

"These appear to be random acts of violence ... we have no idea what precipitated this,'' Lieutenant Raul Jovel said at a news conference. "We'll be going back to the suspect's home, talking to family members, trying to figure out what led to these acts of violence.''

The shootings began around 1am on Tuesday when a 43-year-old man was shot at while sitting in his car. The man suffered a bullet graze to his head and was able to provide a description of the shooter's car to police.

The man's dashboard camera also captured images of the shooter's Jeep SUV.

Approximately 25 minutes later, Alexis Carbajal, 24, was shot and killed while sitting in his car with his wife waiting in line for Starbucks. The couple had recently been married. The woman escaped injury.

Mr Carbajal's family held a vigil at the site of the shooting on Tuesday and plans to do so again on Wednesday.

Fifteen minutes after Mr Carbajal was murdered, Mingzhi Zhu, 42, an Uber driver sitting at a red light, was shot and killed.

After the third shooting, the police spotted the man's SUV and began to pursue him.

Police chased the suspect onto the westbound lanes of the 91 Freeway, where they managed to stop his SUV with spike strips and box his vehicle in with cruisers.

Once the vehicle was stopped and boxed in, a standoff ensued between officers and the suspect.

"SWAT officers arrived, and they initiated the normal procedures to negotiate with the suspect,” Mr Jovel said. “They attempted to talk to him several times. At one point, they tried to have the suspect talk to a family member. That was unsuccessful ...”

According to Mr Jovel, the police used information gathered from the SUV's registration to locate a family member who they hoped could help talk the suspect down.

However, at some point during the standoff the suspect allegedly shot at the police officers, which prompted the police to fire back, killing the man.

"At one point, the suspect fired at the officers, (which) resulted in an officer-involved shooting,'' Mr Jovel said. “The suspect was hit by gunfire and was pronounced dead at scene by the local fire department.”