warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

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.


Live On Twitter


Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.



Anonymous (not verified) on April 20, 2012 10:37 AM

Omg I am very shocked this can happen in America by cops I can blame 100% cops over 10 cops one young man
I think there was ways to get him over 90 bullets I guess the cops where getting training shot on this boy god bless the young man
People who do murder,bankrupt all those get trail in this situation cops become juge unbelievable I Canadian now scared of visiting STATE since I have two young man as well R.I.P for Abdul Arian god bless you

Anonymous (not verified) on April 15, 2012 3:19 PM

In today’s enhanced technology, why does the plice force use firearms as a first option? I though it was the last resort. Also, why shoot him 90 times? Instead one shot on the foot was enough to apprehend him. I understand he was pointing an object at the police officers. were any bullets coming out of that object? Did the police hear shot guns? Why not use a different method in these situations. Pulling gun and treat everyone as killers and murders regardless of age is inhumane. I know, police officers are here to protect us but every situation should be handled differently. To avoid killing of innocent people Police officers need more training with different defense mechanism. Such as use of taser, syringe gun (tranquilizer), PAVA or CS spray or extendable ASP Baton. What if, instead of 19 year old man we had a 16 or 14 year old kid. The police would still acted in the same manner. Be logic, our officers are not fully trained. The quick decision to kill that young man raises a very sensitive issue. Watch the video and judge for your self. See the shattered windows on the building located behind the freeway. Are you kidding me! What if, some one was in that building? It is obvious LAPD made a very immature decision to shoot the young man regardless of who else could have been in danger in the surroundings area. The young man is a victim and police officers should find alternatives to resolve such situations. Firearms should be the last resort! I understand the young man made some irrational decisions by droving off and initiate the chase by endangering many others. OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT SWORN TO SERVE AND PROTECT! TO PROTECT, TO PROTECT REGARDLESS OF AGE, GENDER, RACE AND RELIGION!
A rapist who rapes and kills innocent children, yet still has a right to defend himself, this young man did not get the chance!

Anonymous (not verified) on April 15, 2012 3:17 PM

This could happen to anyone; to our sons, or to our daughters. Put the hatred aside, do you want to be treated this way? Do you want your children to end up like this?
United We Stand!
See this from a different perspective regardless of who this young man was? Do you agree that lethal weapon should be the first choice or the last resort?
Think as an American, not as a white, black, Hispanic or so forth!

Wee Bucketito (not verified) on April 14, 2012 9:05 AM

what a shambles, at least where i come from we do not have trigger happy redneck cops who are just lookin for another body to add to their count. a poor kid of 19 with no gun and to think it is justifiable to unload 90 bullets; even if he is armed into his body then there is a serious re-evaluation of street policing required.