"MTA Hijacker Arrested Following Police Pursuit"
Los Angeles: On May 2, 2001, at approximately 4:20 P.M., a shooting of a 35 year-old African American male occurred at 1315 James M. Woods Street, in Rampart Area. Witnesses ran to the Los Angeles Police Protective League building, located adjacent to the shooting scene, notified police officers and pointed to the suspect who was running toward an MTA bus. Officers observed the suspect, subsequently identified as Carlos Garcia, a 33 year-old male Hispanic, enter the bus, place his arm around the female driver’s neck, point a pistol at her head and commandeer the bus. There were four female Hispanic passengers on the bus; three adults, ages 67, 66 and 27 and a 4 year-old child. Suspect Garcia subsequently pulled the driver from the driver’s seat and drove the bus away himself at a high rate of speed. He held the driver at gunpoint throughout the incident.
Rampart Area patrol Officers Craig Marquez (27 years of age, five years with the Department), and Rick Ishitani (25 years of age, 4 years with the Department) responded to a radio broadcast regarding the shooting. The officers observed Suspect Garcia holding a gun to the head of the bus driver, who began driving east on Olympic Boulevard. The officers initiated a vehicle pursuit, reaching speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour. Suspect Garcia subsequently led them north on San Pedro Street approaching 4th Street. As the bus entered the intersection of San Pedro and 4th Streets, it collided with a van that was proceeding east on 4th Street. After violently colliding with the van, the bus continued north on San Pedro Street, pushing the van until it collided with a United Parcel Service truck, which was parked on San Pedro Street between 4th and Boyd Streets. The bus then collided with a parking lot fence and vehicles that were parked in the lot on the southeast corner of San Pedro and Boyd Streets. The bus came to a stop.
Suspect Garcia ran from the bus, east on Boyd Street. Officers Marquez and Ishitani initiated a foot pursuit. Officer Marquez ordered Suspect Garcia to stop but Garcia failed to comply. Officer Marquez, fearing that Suspect Garcia would take additional hostages and cause great bodily harm or death, fired multiple rounds at the suspect in an effort to stop and apprehend him. Suspect Garcia was not wounded and continued running to an occupied vehicle that was parked on Boyd Street, west of Omar Avenue. Suspect Garcia opened the driver’s door of the vehicle and attempted to pull the driver out of the vehicle. Pursuing officers arrived and took Suspect Garcia into custody without further incident. Garcia’s handgun was located in the parking lot located at the south east corner of San Pedro and 4th Streets.
The driver of the van struck by the bus was identified as Guadalupe Arevalos, a 34 years-old female Hispanic. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The original victim of the shooting by Suspect Garcia stated that prior to being shot, Garcia told him he did not like black men associating with Hispanic women. He is in critical condition at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. The bus driver sustained facial and other injuries as a result of the collision and was admitted into a local hospital in stable condition. The passengers in the bus were treated for minor injuries at local hospitals and released.
Suspect Garcia was booked for murder at the Jail Ward of Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.
Robbery-Homicide Division Detectives are investigating the incident, the suspect has not yet been identified. For further information regarding this press release, please call Media Relations at 213-485-3586.