Police chases, in the tradition of O.J. may be a thing of the past. Take this chase from Phoenix. After robbing a credit union, this suspect began a lumbering get-away in an oversized SUV. The chase didn’t look like much, as the cops that were tailing him were all in unmarked vehicles. But the excitement picked up when they ran the suspect off the road. Big time.
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The suspect had led the police on a chase, and the cops were willing to let him ride. There was no open avenue for escape, so they contented themselves to tail him safely. The driver’s actions were not even all that atypical for Phoenix traffic.
Yet there was a freeway coming up. As soon as the helicopter broadcast where the suspect seemed to be heading, the police moved in. They tried to surround the SUV. The driver, though, wasn’t having it. He rammed through one attempt to stop him and bolted around cars for access to the on-ramp.
His vehicle, though, was slower than the unmarked trucks, and an officer spun in behind him, clipped his bumper, and spun the SUV around and off the road using what is known as a ‘PIT maneuver’ – or precision immobilization technique. At that moment, two other vehicles boxed him in.
One officer leaped from his vehicle with his rifle at the ready and popped several rounds through the windshield of the SUV.
Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard identified the driver as 31-year-old Steven Del Rio. Del Rio–a felon released from prison just 3 months ago–was killed in the shooting.
The news crew then did what they could to change the video feed. They went to the weather, and to a group of boring talking heads, but the damage had been done. The shooting was over quickly, and it had gone out live.
So the cameras switched back and the newscasters got to express their apologies.
An armed robbery in Phoenix, Arizona has ended with police fatally shooting a suspect on live television.