Undercover CHP Officers Shot And Killed Alleged Street Racer Before He Rammed Their Car
A pair of undercover California Highway Patrol officers shot and killed a 19-year-old man in Fullerton late on Sunday night as he drove his red Chevy Silverado pickup truck towards the officers in an alleged attempt to ram their car. According to the L.A. Times, the fatal shooting victim was Pedro Villanueva of Canoga Park. Another 18-year-old passenger in the car was also wounded.
Before the shooting, Villanueva supposedly drove the pickup truck along surface streets at speeds close to 90 mph. CHP officers tailed his vehicle for approximately five miles, following him away from a car-meet in a Santa Fe Springs parking lot.
The undercover officers were originally tasked with monitoring the car-meet from a distance. Passionate car-folks use social media services like Facebook and Instagram to organize meet-ups, some of which eventually culminate into organized (but illegal) street races later at night. This particular meet attracted roughly 80 truck and off-road type vehicles, and eventually law enforcement officers decided it was time to break it up, according to KNBC.
CHP Lieutenant Charlie Sampson explained to the Times that officers had already broken up this meet three times prior during the day.
When officers did so for a fourth time, Villanueva fled the scene by racing along city streets at incredibly high rates of speed. Five miles later, the truck pulled into a dead-end road in Fullerton at around 10:50 p.m. Villanueva made a U-turn, and allegedly began speeding directly towards the CHP officers who had just exited their vehicle.
The officers opened fire as the truck drove towards them, though the truck also struck another vehicle before hitting the unmarked car.
An unnamed source with the CHP told the L.A. Times that they are not sure whether or not Villanueva knew whether or not he was being tailed by undercover officers. At the same time, the Times also reports that neither of the two CHP officers had body cameras, nor was the vehicle they were driving equipped with a dash-cam.
An investigation is ongoing.