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Officers Fire 90 Rounds On 101 Freeway, Killing A 19-Year-Old

Paige Brettingen |
April 13, 2012 | 8:14 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

101 Freeway Sign (Courtesy of Creative Commons)
101 Freeway Sign (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

As 19-year-old Abdul Arian refused to pull over when police flagged down  his black crown Victoria car for careless driving, a high-speed chase down the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley ensued.  What followed was what the LAPD is calling tragic— eight officers shooting 90 rounds and killing Arian who may have been unarmed though he claimed he had a gun.

The L.A. Times reported:

  • When asked if this may have been a case of suicide by cop, LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said, "It's certainly bizarre behavior, and it ended in a tragic situation for all involved."
    During the chase, Arian called 911, and according to a partial transcript of the call released by the LAPD, he claimed to have a gun and made threats to the police.
    "I have been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops," he told the dispatcher. "If they pull their guns, I'm going to have to pull my gun out on them."
    The dispatcher, according to the release, pleaded for Arian to surrender, saying "I don't want you to hurt yourself."
    Arian responded with expletives and warned that the police are "going to get hurt."
    Police did not recover a gun from the scene.

Sources told the Times that they believe Arian was only holding a cell phone.

KTLA talked to a couple who were just feet away from Arian as he sped from police and are being considered key eye-witnesses in the case.

"It was unreal, like it couldn't be happening... the sound of bullets everywhere," the female passenger, Angela, said.

The couple also thanked the LAPD, saying that officers protected them after they had pulled over to the side of the road.

"What I was so impressed by was, as quickly as possible, the officers shielded us from him and put their own bodies in front of our car," Michael recalled.

The couple then described their account of what transpired next:
"Instead of running away, [Arian] took a few steps out and raised his arms up, as if he was drawing a weapon," Michael said.

Michael also said it appeared Arian was firing at the officers "because we could see that his arms were kicking."

"The next thing we knew, he was in front of our car," Michael said. "His hands were up and he was firing with a look of someone who was playing a video game....There was no fear on his face...He actually looked like he was enjoying himself."

Arian was a former member of the police Explorer program, according to The Washington Post.  The AP reported that his body remained on the freeway, covered with a sheet until after dawn on Thursday.

Police are currently investigating a number of factors in the case, including whether the 90 rounds of gunshot endangered civilians.



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