Police were reportedly in cellphone contact with Abdul Arian, 19, and his mother during last night's chase across the West Valley, from Northridge to Woodland Hills. After he stopped in traffic on the southbound Ventura Freeway at Canoga Avenue, Arian ran from the car. On the NBC 4 video he repeatedly turns and points something at the officers. He gets away with it the first few times, but finally the officers shoot him. Arian turned out not to be armed. Relatives say he was simply afraid of the police and called 911 during the chase, which began when the LAPD tried to pull him over for reckless driving.
After the shooting, the freeway was closed all night. The southbound lanes that carry commuters east across the Valley did not open until after 8 a.m., pushing morning rush hour traffic from the suburbs and the central coast onto Pacific Coast Highway, the 118 freeway and surface streets such as Ventura Boulevard and Oxnard Street.
* Afternoon update: KTLA reports that Arian told the 911 operator that he was armed and implied he was dangerous.
During the pursuit, Arian called 911 and engaged in a lengthy conversation with the operator. Among the statements he made were:
I have a gun.
I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops.
If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them.