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A Gardena police officer shot a suspected auto thief as the man tried to escape authorities this afternoon in South Los Angeles, police said.

The suspect allegedly stole a black Chevrolet truck at 1 p.m. in a store parking lot near Denker Avenue and Redondo Beach Boulevard, said Lt. Steve Prendergast. The victim saw the man driving off in the truck and called police, he said.

(Google Maps)

Officers caught up with the vehicle on the Harbor (110) Freeway and attempted a traffic stop. The driver did not pull over, and instead fled as police pursued him off the Gage Avenue exit and onto Broadway Avenue, Prendergast said.

The suspect crashed as he attempted to turn on 25th Street, and then got out of the truck and ran. Officers followed him one block to Main Street, where one officer fired several shots, hitting the suspect and grazing an innocent bystander in the hand, Prendergast said.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital but Prendergast did not release any information about the condition or identity of the suspect, or the reason for the shooting.

"It's all under investigation," Prendergast said.


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"All we know right now is that there was an officer-involved shooting."

sandy.mazza@dailybreeze.com

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