One Killed in Collision During Police Chase in Northridge; Suspect Arrested

Police lights by night

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NORTHRIDGE (CNS) - A man was killed in a two-vehicle collision during a police pursuit Thursday in Northridge, and the driver of the vehicle being chased was arrested after running from the scene.

Los Angeles Police Department officers were chasing armed robbery suspects in a dark-colored SUV just before 1 a.m. after they attempted to make a traffic stop, when the suspects' westbound vehicle on Roscoe Boulevard ran a red light and crashed into a southbound black sedan on Lindley Avenue, according to the LAPD.

The driver of the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as Erick Barbosa-Guardado, 19, of Reseda.

"I feel so mad, so mad, because it's not right, what happened with my nephew," the fatally injured man's aunt, Socorro Barbosa, told reporters at the scene. "He was a really good boy. ... He was really young; he had really good dreams."

The driver and a passenger in the SUV ran from the scene and were pursued on foot by officers. Police set up a perimeter and later captured the alleged driver, the LAPD reported.

As of Thursday afternoon, the man's name was not available for release. The search was continuing for the second suspect, police said.

According to police, a loaded rifle was found in the suspects' vehicle.

"There is a balance test when it comes to pursuits," LAPD Lt. Letisia Ruiz told reporters. "In this case, this person in the vehicle was identified as `armed and dangerous.' You know, we have to take action when it comes to these types of situations. Somebody that is armed and dangerous is a danger to any citizens in this community."

Barbosa-Guardado is at least the fifth innocent bystander killed as a result of crashes involving law enforcement pursuits in the past month.

On Jan. 31, two men were killed when their car was struck by the driver of an allegedly stolen pickup who was fleeing police in Panorama City. On Feb. 5, a man and his wife were killed in a crash at the end of a pursuit near the border of Lynwood and South Gate involving suspects who were allegedly stealing catalytic converters. One of the suspects in that chase also died in the crash.

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