- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A burglary suspect was fatally shot by police after a car chase that ended when he backed his vehicle into their patrol cars, a sequence of events broadcast live on local TV stations.

Police and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating the actions of three officers who fired into the suspect’s car.

Police began chasing Nicholas Hans Killinger early Monday after he purportedly tied up a gas-station attendant and stole $180.

After a 90-minute chase that was covered by television crews in helicopters, Mr. Killinger was shot by Los Angeles police in front of Santa Monica High School. He died about an hour later, authorities said.

“The suspect could have ended this situation at any time,” Lt. Art Miller told the Los Angeles Times. “But instead, he chose to reverse his car into the officers.”

Mr. Killinger, 23, rolled backward into two police vehicles after he couldn’t complete a U-turn. The officers fired 11 rounds into the rear window of his car.

A police spokeswoman, Officer Adriana Sanchez, said yesterday that several of those shots hit Mr. Killinger. An autopsy was being conducted.

At least two local news stations broadcast the shooting as it happened, and more than five aired footage.

The three officers were identified as Manuel Solis, Arturo Ramirez and Carlos Ocegueda.

Officer Solis, 30, was awarded the department’s Medal for Valor after a 1998 shootout in which he helped his wounded partner to safety.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the Santa Monica Police Department are investigating the shooting.

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said investigators will conduct a separate investigation to determine whether the officers followed department guidelines.

He has been trying to limit Los Angeles police from shooting at vehicles that pose a threat. Other police departments, citing a danger to bystanders, have banned the practice.

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