A suspected gunman has been shot dead by police after going on a rampage killing two and injuring one other in five separate drive-by shootings across LA.
The suspect, only described as a man in his late 40s or early 50s, killed a newly married man and an Uber driver father-of-two during what police described as a ‘random’ shooting spree in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning.
At least one other person was shot but survived, while another was injured.
He then led police on a three-hour car chase that ended in a shootout on a freeway overpass, where the suspect was fatally shot.
Police said they are now probing whether the shootings were hate crimes as two of the shooting victims were Asian men, with one dying of his injuries.
It comes amid a surge in anti-Asian violence across America as well as a string of recent mass shootings.
Pictured: The suspect’s white jeep jammed between two SWAT vehicles after it was forced to come to a stop. The suspect is believed to have killed two people and injured another, before being shot dead himself after opening fire on officers through his windshield
Pictured: LAPD investigates scene of shooting at 7th and Figueroa Streets where an Uber driver was shot and killed on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 in downtown Los Angeles, CA
A suspected gunman has been shot dead by police after going on a rampage killing two and injuring two others in five separate drive-by shootings across LA. LAPD and LA County coroner investigators on the scene of one of the shootings at 28th and Figueroa Streets
Timeline of the LA shooting on April 27
LAPD officers respond to shooting at Figueroa/ Exposition in downtown Los Angeles, near the University of Southern California.
Officers find a adult male victim who had been shot at and suffered a graze-wound to the head.
The suspect was described as a male in a White Jeep, and with the help of the vicim’s dash cam, officers were able to send out a description and send information out to patrol units.
Shooting occurs near 28th St & Figueroa at a Starbucks drive-tru.
An adult male named 24-year-old Alexis Carbaja was shot in his car which he was in with his wife.
The man was pronounced dead, but his wife survived with minor injuries.
A male motorist is shot at 7th & Figueroa. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim is believed to be 42-year-old Mingzhi Zhu of South Pasadena, an Uber driver with two children.
After a three-hour chase, the car is disabled after spike strips are used by officer on the WB 91 Freeway at the Raymond overpass in Fullerton.
SWAT officers attempt to negotiate with the suspect, but return fire when he shot through his windshield at them – killing the man.
The drive-by shootings began around 12:55 am near the University of Southern California when the suspect, who was driving a white Jeep Cherokee, pulled up alongside a victim’s vehicle at Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard, police said.
The suspect allegedly fired multiple rounds at the victim, a Korean speaker, who suffered a bullet graze wound to his head. The victim is expected to survive.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said a dashboard camera inside the victim’s vehicle captured part of the shooting and the Jeep’s license plate, which helped officers circulate a description of the car.
About 10 minutes later, another shooting occurred less than a mile away in a Starbucks drive-thru, at 28th St & Figueroa.
The suspect drove alongside another another vehicle in-line for the Starbucks and backed into it, causing a slight crash, police said.
The suspect then fired into the vehicle – a Ford Mustang – killing a newlywed who was driving with his wife, Moore said.
Police believe there was a ‘verbal exchange’ between the couple and the gunman, but Moore did not know what was said.
The Los Angeles County coroner identified the man as 24-year-old Alexis Carbajal.
Surveillance footage shows Carbajal’s wife running for help when he was shot. She was also injured but it is unclear at this time if she was shot or injured by shrapnel.
The second deadly shooting occurred around 1:25 am, about 3 miles away from the second scene.
An Asian man was driving when the gunman pulled up next to him and began firing through the window.
The coroner identified that victim as 42-year-old Mingzhi Zhu of South Pasadena.
Zhu was an Uber driver and was on his way to pick up a rider, the company said in a statement that called the shootings senseless and heartbreaking.
He leaves behind a wife and two children – an 8-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.
The Starbucks where one of the shootings occurred. The suspect led police on a three-hour car chase that ended in a shootout on a freeway overpass, where the suspect was fatally shot
One person was killed at a Starbucks drive-thru above. The suspect, only described as a man in his late 40s or early 50s, killed a newly married man at the site before killing an Uber driver father-of-two during what police described as a ‘random’ shooting spree
The gunman then continued on the rampage, opening fire on a vehicle in an intersection.
Officers spotted the suspect’s Jeep at around 1:45 a.m. and began a long pursuit, which included the suspect firing at a white Tesla while driving.
The driver – Seth Jones – was not injured, and captured the shooting on camera.
He says the bullet fired by the suspect came dangerously close to his head rest.
‘I just thought this was it, I don’t know,’ Jones told Eyewitness News. ‘He shot and my back window exploded. And I just drove away. I drove as fast as I could. I called 911 and they told me to take the nearest exit. I’m just so grateful to be alive.’
The subsequent chase covered the 60 and 57 freeways freeways in Los Angeles and Orange counties, before coming to an end on the westbound 91 Freeway near Raymond Avenue at about 3:25 a.m.
Police used spike strips to disable the Jeep on an overpass in Fullerton, when a standoff with LAPD SWAT officers began.
SWAT pinned the Jeep in and attempted negotiations aimed at having the suspect surrender, Moore said. At around 4.45 a.m., officers were reported to e deploying teargas into the suspects car.
But the suspect began firing at the officers through the vehicle’s front windshield, and an officer returned fire, he said.
The man allegedly shot at police a second time, prompting the officer to return fire again.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, and a handgun believed to be linked to the earlier shootings was found at the scene, Moore said.
Police Lt. Raul Jovel told reporters the attacks appeared to be random, with the motive behind the attacks unclear.
‘These appear to be random acts of violence … we have no idea what precipitated this,” Jovel told reporters at a news conference near where the pursuit came to an end. ‘We’ll be going back to the suspect’s home, talking to family members, trying to figure out what led to these acts of violence.”
The shootings come amid a surge in anti-Asian violence across America as well as a string of recent mass shootings
Police said they are now probing whether the shootings were hate crimes as two of the shooting victims were Asian men. People walk past the crime scene
The shooting comes amid a surge in anti-Asian violence across America as well as a string of recent mass shootings
However, authorities are pursuing a possible line of inquiry that the shootings were anti-Asian hate crimes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The victims included two Asian men and a Latino man. Hate crimes, particularly against Asians, have risen dramatically nationwide.
‘We are very mindful of the potentiality for that, and leaning into that very actively,’ Moore said.
Police are also investigating if the man is connected to any other crimes.
‘We’ll be going back to the suspect´s home, talking to family members, trying to figure out what led to these acts of violence,’ Jovel said.
Mia Vaca, sister of victim Alexis Carbajal’s, told ABC7: ‘For this to happen, it’s hard. I feel like it’s a dream, and he’s just going to walk in to the door any minute.’
A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover the costs of Mr Carbajal’s funeral. The page confirmed he was one of the victims of the Tuesday shooting.
‘We the family of Alexis Carbajal, are asking for support during this tough time. He was one of the victims of the shootings that occurred on April 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA,’ the page said.
‘He was only 24 years old and left behind his Mother, sisters, and wife. He didn’t deserve this, he was a gentle soul who always put others before himself, he could light up any room and was such a caring person.’
Yuki Cutcheon, president of the South Pasadena Chinese American Club, said on behalf of Mingzhi Zhu’s family: ‘He’s a hardworking, intelligent, kind, gentle and deeply loving husband, deeply loving father and very dedicated husband. The family is lost without him.
Cutcheon said Zhu’s family moved from China in 2016.
The shooting rampage comes amid a surge in violent crime in LA.
Alexis Carbajal was one of the victims of the shootings that occurred on April 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. He was only 24 years old and left behind his Mother, sisters, and wife
Biden Executive Actions on Guns
- Crackdown on ‘ghost guns,’ which are built from kits
- Tighten requirements on pistol braces that allow for more accurate shooting
- Department of Justice will publish ‘red flag’ legislation for the states
- Investment in evidence-based community violence interventions
- DoJ will issue an annual report on gun trafficking
The number of people shot in the city has increased 73 percent this year, compared with the same time period in 2020.
The police killing Tuesday also marks the second time LAPD officers have fatally shot a person in the last four days.
On Saturday, 34-year-old Richard Solitro was shot and killed following a car crash with police.
Solitro got out of his vehicle and, holding his hand behind his back, began counting down ‘3… 2… 1’ as he started to bring his hand out, police said.
At least one officer fired, fatally striking him.
Police said they did not find a weapon on the scene. Solitro was previously shot by police in Rhode Island in 2018.
The shooting spree in LA also marks the latest in a string of mass shootings across America in recent weeks which have prompted Joe Biden to clamp down on gun laws.
Back on March 16, Robert Aaron Long, 21, is accused of killing eight people – six of them Asian women – in a series of attacks at three Atlanta spas.
The following week, gunman Ahmad Alissa then allegedly shot dead ten people including a police officer, in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
The next day, a shooting at a Southern California office building left four people dead, including a child.
Eight people were shot and killed at the FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis earlier this month.
The president has unveiled a series of executive actions designed to curb gun violence following the string of shootings.
The six actions include: a crackdown on the proliferation of ‘ghost guns,’ which are built from kits; tighten requirements on pistol braces that allow for more accurate shooting; the Department of Justice will publish ‘red flag’ legislation for the states; invest in evidence-based community violence interventions; and DoJ will issue an annual report on gun trafficking.
Biden said mass shootings are a ‘public health crisis’ and argued he was not trying to impinge on the Second Amendment – a claim gun rights groups and Republicans have made against the introduction gun control laws.