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News Release

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Media Relations

Carjacking/OIS Suspect Die as a Result of Violent Traffic Collision

"Carjacking/OIS Suspect Die as a Result of Violent Traffic Collision"


Los Angeles - - Last evening, at approximately 10:35 P.M., one carjacking suspect died in a violent traffic collision after he drove through the red phase of a traffic signal at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and collided with another vehicle that was westbound on PCH.

On Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at approximately 9:45 P.M., officers assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Harbor Division responded to the scene of a carjacking. The suspects were four male Hispanics. Using a blue steel handgun, the suspects took the victim’s vehicle (a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme) and other property. This crime occurred in the 1600 block of West Lomita Boulevard. The officers broadcasted information on the crime, including a description of the suspects, the vehicle used by the suspects and the vehicle taken from the victim. At approximately 10:15 P.M., two uniformed officers assigned to Harbor Patrol, while on patrol in the area of the 26000 block of South Vermont Avenue, observed a vehicle matching that of the carjacking suspects, parked in front of an apartment complex. The officers observed two suspects in the vehicle who matched the description of the carjacking suspects. As the officers turned around to investigate, the suspects drove their vehicle, a gray GMC Jimmy, down the rear driveway of the apartment complex. The officers followed.

Apparently realizing that the driveway was coming to an end, the suspects turned around and began driving their vehicle in the direction of the officers, who by now had exited their police vehicle and positioned themselves behind their respective doors. The officers ordered the suspects to stop and the suspects did not comply. As the suspects’ vehicle continued in the direction of the passenger side of the police vehicle, Officer Fernando Rivas Jr. (32 years old, 8 years with the Department) fearful that the suspect was about to run down his partner, fired one from his Department issued pistol. The suspects continued driving, exited the driveway and proceeded northbound on South Vermont Avenue from the location. The officers got back into their vehicle and drove out from the driveway. Not knowing what direction the suspects went, the officers went southbound on South Vermont.

The suspects continued northbound on South Vermont Avenue at a high rate of speed. As the suspects reached PCH, approximately ½ mile from the scene of the officer-involved shooting, they failed to stop for the red phase of a traffic signal and violently collided with a Volkswagen Beetle that was westbound on PCH. The driver in the suspects’ vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger was transported to a local hospital and is listed in extremely critical condition. The driver of the westbound vehicle received lacerations to his body. He was transported to a local hospital and treated. The passenger of that vehicle received serious injuries but his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The dead suspect has been identified as Mario Magallon, 22 years old. Preliminary indications are that the suspect’s vehicle was hit by gunfire but no one in that vehicle was struck by gunfire. THERE WAS NO PURSUIT.

The investigations into the officer involved shooting, the carjacking and the traffic collision are all on-going. Please direct all inquiries pertaining to this press release to Media Relations Section, 213-485.3586.

This release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace E. Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section.