LASD release surveillace video & audio when deputies shoot suspect during pursuit in Tujunga Canyons

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On November 12, 2021, at approximately 7:09 PM, two deputies assigned to Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station observed a black GMC sport utility vehicle (SUV) parked in the “Park and Ride” parking lot at the Newhall Avenue exit, east of the 14 freeway. As the deputies neared the SUV in their patrol vehicle, they observed a male seated in the driver’s seat drinking what was believed to be an alcoholic beverage. The deputies drove next to the SUV, and smelled a strong odor of marijuana emitting from inside the SUV. The male was later identified as Manuel Fidel Chavez, a 32-year-old resident of Santa Clarita.

Chavez placed the SUV in reverse and proceeded to accelerate through the parking lot away from the deputies. He nearly collided with other occupied vehicles and pedestrians as he drove onto Newhall Avenue. The deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop but Chavez failed to yield. As a result, the deputies initiated a pursuit of Chavez as a reckless driver suspected of being under the influence. Chavez continued to elude deputies while driving recklessly. He entered the 14 freeway, exited and drove on surface streets and re-entered the northbound 14 freeway. The pursuit was terminated when a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter arrived overhead and kept sight of Chavez’ location. Chavez exited the 14 freeway to northbound Soledad Canyon Road. Chavez entered an RV park by ramming the main gate with his SUV and forcing the gate to open. Once inside the RV park, he exited the SUV and fled on foot.

Department personnel inside the helicopter requested patrol units to respond to the RV park in an attempt to apprehend Chavez. As deputies arrived, they were directed by the helicopter observer to Chavez’s location within the RV park. During this time, Chavez entered a parked blue Dodge Challenger, and proceeded to drive and accelerate toward the main gate of the RV park.

Arriving deputies parked in one of the two driveways at the main gate of the RV park, exited their patrol vehicles, and proceeded to enter through the main gate. Chavez accelerated toward the deputies and exited the main gate. After driving out of the main gate, Chavez conducted a U-turn to reenter the RV park, accelerated the vehicle directly toward the deputies and a deputy-involved shooting occurred. Chavez continued driving recklessly by speeding and driving off the paved road through lot spaces and yards within the RV park. Chavez crashed into a pedestrian bridge and drove back towards the main gate where deputies were attempting to reenter their patrol vehicles. Chavez accelerated toward deputies a third time and a second deputy- involved shooting occurred.

Chavez drove out of the RV park at a high rate of speed and onto southbound Soledad Canyon Road. About one mile later, he was involved in a solo traffic collision when he struck a guard rail at a bridge overpass. Following the collision, Chavez exited the vehicle and fled on foot down an embankment and under the overpass. The helicopter observer who was overhead directed deputies to Chavez’s location where he surrendered to deputies.

Chavez sustained gunshot wounds to his right bicep and abdomen. He also had cuts and abrasions on his body as a result of the traffic collision. Paramedics from the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded and provided emergency medical attention. Chavez was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was subsequently cleared for booking.

There were no other persons injured during this incident.

It was later learned that Chavez resided inside the RV park, and the blue Dodge Challenger was registered to a family member. In addition, Chavez was prohibited from owning firearms and 11 firearms were seized from his residence.

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ThisIsButter1 (1312.00)

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