A police chase of a teenage motorist who refused to stop for driving recklessly ended fatally. After a dramatic high-speed chase shown live on TV Wednesday night, officers killed 19-year-old Abdul Arian with 90 rounds on a San Fernando Valley freeway.
The video shows an LAPD police patrol car ramming into Arian's car as he tries to U-turn. The news helicopter footage then shows Arian jumping out of the car and attempting to escape on foot on the US 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills, LA. He turns round several times apparently simulating a shooting stance before he was killed with multiple shots.
According to ABC News, Arian had made a 911 call to police during the chase, claiming he was armed with a gun, but no weapon was recovered from the scene after he was killed.
Daily Mail reports police officer Lieutenant Andy Neiman, said: "The investigation will determine what happened, what the officers saw, what the witnesses saw. Sometimes what you see from a live shot from the air unit may or may not be exactly what people think so until we determine exactly what the witnesses saw, we can't make any comment on that."
When Neiman was asked whether the suspect was carrying a gun, he said: "That has not been determined at this point."
Speaking to reporters at his home in Woodland Hills after the shooting, Arian's uncle said his nephew neither drank nor took drugs and he was "afraid of guns." Daily Mail reports that the suspect's uncle Hamed Arian, said: "He was a nice kid. He was working. He was such a sweet kid, respectful to others. He wanted to be a cop and like I said before, during the chase last night, he was calling 911. He was afraid of cops. You know, he told me he wants to be a good cop, not a crooked cop."
Los Angeles Times reports the uncle said: "He wanted to be an LAPD cop, and the LAPD killed him."
But according to LA Times, the picture that emerged from Arian's Facebook page seemed to contradict his uncle's testimony that his nephew was "afraid of guns." He wrote to a friend on Facebook on April 5: "Just came back from the shooting range." There was also on his Facebook page an enlarged photo of a police car with lights on.
Arian's uncle said he saw his nephew last 6 p.m. on Wednesday night when he left for the gym where he worked out regularly with a personal trainer. But about four hours later, police said they saw him driving dangerously on the Northridge Fashion Center in a Crown Victoria. They tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop and they engaged him in a chase at very high speed through city streets before he pulled into the Ventura Freeway and finally, the eastbound 101 freeway.
In a partial transcript of the 911 call Arian made to a police dispatcher, he said: "I have been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops. If they pull their guns, I'm going to have to pull my gun out on them."
The dispatcher pleaded with him, saying: "I don't want you to hurt yourself." Arian swore at the dispatcher and said: "These police, they're going to get hurt."
But it turned out that Arian did not have a gun. What appeared to be a gun he was holding was a cellphone.
LA Times reports his uncle watched the chase on television with Arian's parents, Shapor and Deena Arian. They came to the U.S. from Afghanistan about 20 years ago. Arian's uncle said Abdul attended Pierce College, but a representative of the school said they have no record of a student with that name.
Police confirmed he had been part of the LAPD Explorer academy, but he was expelled for disciplinary reasons.
When asked whether he thought Arian's case was suicide-by-cop, Lt. Nieman said: "It's certainly bizarre behavior, and it ended in a tragic situation for all involved."