CHP shot and killed 2 car theft suspects in SE Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol confirms two car theft suspects are dead. The man and woman were shot after allegedly trying to run down several officers.
The names of the two suspects have not been released yet, but the CHP said they are known by Valley officers to be dangerous criminals.
The shooting is the result of a high-speed chase that began at 2:00pm Thursday in Downtown Fresno at G Street and Ventura. It ended about thirty minutes later on Chestnut and Tulare in Southeast Fresno.
CHP reports two of its officers fired the shots that killed the two suspects.
Investigators said the woman who led them on a pursuit has been the suspect in at least two other high-speed chases in recent years.
Cell phone video captured moments after two CHP motor officers shot an unidentified female driver and her male passenger, both well-known car thieves, shows the frantic moments when officers scrambled to secure the crime scene.
"They have had a lot, let me repeat that, a lot of law enforcement contact," said CHP Officer Matt Radke. "These are people that are involved in stealing cars."
The stolen Honda Civic is now mangled and peppered with bullet holes. The Highway Patrol said an officer was trying to pull the car over because it's stolen. But, the driver charged at the officer with the car and then sped off. During a high-speed chase that lasted nearly 30 minutes the driver of the Honda crashed into three cars.
The first accident happened where the 41 freeway intersects with Tulare. Officers said the Honda smashed into this car then kept driving east. Eventually the car crashed into Ed Ripley's pick-up truck and then a minivan at Tulare and Chestnut.
"By the time I got out, there was 5 or 6 cops that pulled up," Ripley said. "They got out and they took care of business."
Officers said after the driver spun out and crashed she desperately continued her fight to get away. She tried, for the second time, to run down several officers with the wrecked Civic.
"It's not like the movies when people get shot they don't just stop," Radke said. "That's part of the problem with being involved in something like this is they continue trying to do what they gotta do to get away and shots were fired."
Workers inside the nearby Asia Super Market declined an interview but say many people in the store ducked for cover when they heard the gun shots.
Officers have several witnesses to the incident, including people who were riding this FAX bus.
The two officers who shot and killed that woman and her passenger are on paid administrative leave right now, which is protocol for an officer involved shooting.
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