The driver police say was behind the wheel in a wild stolen cruiser pursuit across Southern California that ended in a fatal police shooting was identified Wednesday.
West Covina police identified the driver as Gevork Alachadzhyan, 45, of North Hollywood.
He was fatally wounded by police and died at the scene after the high-speed pursuit of the stolen police cruiser came to a dramatic end in an alley in Glendale, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
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Investigators said Monday morning that the bizarre sequence of events began late Sunday in West Covina when a man, who had earlier requested police assistance, was given a ride in the West Covina patrol car. The man, later identified as Alachadzhyan, somehow commandeered the vehicle, according to the sheriff's department.
It was not immediately clear why the man requested police, but investigators said the man made "peculiar" statements.
Authorities began pursuing the stolen police cruiser in the West Covina area Sunday at 9:45 p.m. The driver hit speeds in excess of 100 mph, as well as drove on the wrong side of the road, weaving on and off freeways.
The pursuit came to a dramatic end at Jackson and Colorado Streets in Glendale as the driver pulled into an alley. Officers rammed the car in an attempt to get the cruiser wedged up against a trash bin.
The driver hit reverse and sped backward through they alley before officers wedged the cruiser with their patrol units. The driver hit the gas, and the tires began smoking as they burned rubber.
Officers approached the cruiser with guns drawn at 10:45 p.m., an hour after the chase started, and opened fire.
West Covina police later said that Alachadzhyan was allegedly trying to arm himself with the weapons inside the police car.
No officers were hurt in the shooting, the LA County Sheriff's Department said.