SoCal deputy shoots at wrong-way driver from helicopter

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies in a helicopter opened fire on a suspect involved in a dangerous wrong-way chase and car crash on the northbound 215 Freeway Friday afternoon.

Two cars were involved in the crash near Palm Avenue. A husband and wife, and another family member were transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center. One of the victims was in critical condition and the other two were in fair condition.

The suspect was wanted in connection to a prior home-invasion robbery in Fontana. Authorities recognized the suspect's beige Chevrolet Tahoe on Friday around 12:49 p.m. and attempted to conduct a traffic stop when a chase ensued.

The suspect led authorities on a chase through surface streets in Fontana and San Bernardino before he started driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes of the 215 Freeway. At one point, the suspect sideswiped another car.

The suspect reached speeds as high as 100 mph, according to Deputy Olivia Bozek with the sheriff's department.

Deputies inside a sheriff's helicopter realized the suspect was a threat to the public's safety and began firing shots at his car. He then bailed out of the moving vehicle, which then crashed head-on into a blue Dodge Durango.

The suspect eventually collapsed on the side of the road not far from the crash and died. Authorities were not sure if his death was caused by gunfire.

Some drivers questioned the police decision to shoot from the helicopter.

"That's dangerous. Like how did they know they was gonna hit that car, you know?" said Clarice Tenny of Victorville.

"If a guy's fleeing, going the wrong way on the freeway, bad things are gonna happen," said Richard Allinson, a visitor from Texas.

The suspect was not immediately identified. The investigation was ongoing.

The northbound 215 Freeway remained shut down late Friday night. null
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