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Corvette Driver Killed By Police After Chase Was Schizophrenic, Friend Says

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A friend of Brian Beaird, the driver of a silver Corvette who was killed by police after a wild pursuit, says that Beaird was suffering from schizophrenia.Gilbert Vasquez told NBC 4 that Beaird was mentally ill and heard voices. When the police turned on their sirens to pull him over, Beaird most likely panicked and tried to make a run for it, Vasquez said.

Beaird led police on an hour-long chase that snaked around parts of South Gate, Huntington Park and South L.A. before he slammed into another car in downtown and crashed into a tree. Beaird was shot by police as he stumbled out of his wrecked car and died later at a hospital. An anonymous officer told Fox 11 that cops may have shot Beaird due to mistaking beanbag rounds for gunshots coming from him. The LAPD has yet to say whether bean bag rounds were deployed.

Beaird was also a member of the National Guard and worked as a recruiter.

"It is outrageous that the police department chose to use a 'shoot to kill' policy on him," Vasquez told NBC 4. "He was unarmed. He didn't have anything."

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