(KTLA) – A high-speed chase involving an armed carjacking suspect ended in Los Angeles Friday afternoon when the suspect crashed into a police vehicle, and then into a pole.
The wild pursuit began in Corona, where the carjacking occurred around 3 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Corona Police pursued the suspect, who was driving a stolen Ford pickup truck into Los Angeles County, where he was seen rolling down the window and firing at officers with a rifle.
Several bullet holes were seen on the truck’s windshield and at least one bullet struck a nearby vehicle during the chase.
At one point, the truck was dangerously close to groups of high school students who were being released from school.
The chase reached speeds of 125 miles per hour as the suspect led officers through the southern portion of Los Angeles County, where he weaved dangerously through busy intersections, ignored traffic signals, and drove on the wrong side of the road.
The driver eventually sideswiped a patrol car at Western Avenue and 253rd Street, causing him to crash into a light pole.
The suspect then hopped out of the truck and tried, but failed, to carjack another driver.
A group of officers quickly tackled and “hog-tied” the suspect, who remained uncooperative while physically lashing out. A gag was placed over his mouth to prevent any biting or spitting.
The alleged driver, later identified by Corona Police as 44-year-old Los Angeles County resident Benjamin Gonzalez, was seen bleeding from his back following the tackle by officers.
Police later said Gonzalez, who has “a violent criminal history,” had been injured by gunfire and taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
He is expected to face a series of felony charges.
Josh Ross, whose truck was stolen by the suspect as he was filling up at a gas station, recalls the initial confrontation in Corona.
“He said, ‘Brother, I need that truck’ and I kind of looked at him like, ‘No man, you’re not getting my truck,” recalled Ross.
That’s when the suspect whipped out his rifle and shot it in the air, said Ross.
“It just made my heart race, it was so loud, so I instantly started backing up to create space because I didn’t know what he was going to do,” said Ross.
The police department is asking anyone with additional information regarding this incident to call 951-817-5837.