Police Badge Deflects Bullet in California Shootout, Suspect Dies in Fiery Crash After High-speed Chase

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A man who shot at Huntington Beach police officers, hitting one officer in the badge, led police on a high-speed chase through three counties before dying in a fiery crash in the Cajon Pass, authorities said.

Just after midnight Friday, Huntington Beach police responded to a domestic violence call at a home near Bushard Street and Yorktown Avenue. As two officers in two separate cars were pulling up, a man was getting into his vehicle to leave the residence, said Officer Jennifer Marlatt, a spokeswoman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.

The officers followed the man, who made a U-turn, drove toward the officers and started firing at them from his vehicle, Marlatt said.

A bullet ricocheted off the police badge worn by one of the officers, who was treated at a hospital and released Friday morning. He was in good condition, Marlatt said.

The other officer returned fire, and the man, whose name has not been released, kept driving, initiating the pursuit.

He drove through Costa Mesa and Santa Ana, then got onto the freeways, leading California Highway Patrol officers through Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For “reasons that are still under investigation,” the man drove off the Cleghorn Road offramp on the northbound 15 Freeway, said CHP Officer Steve Carapia.

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SOURCE: LA Times, Hailey Branson-Potts