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Brian Newt Beaird, 51

Brian Newt Beaird (2013-12-13)

Brian Newt Beaird, a 51-year-old white man, was shot and killed by police in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 13, 2013, after leading authorities on high-speed chase through South Los Angeles that ended when he crashed his silver Corvette.

Beaird, of Oceanside, was pronounced dead at California Hospital Medical Center at about 11:13 p.m., said Los Angeles coroner’s Capt. John Kades.

The pursuit began about 9:30 p.m. when L.A. County sheriff’s deputies apparently tried to stop Beaird, for driving recklessly.

Beaird finally crashed his silver Corvette into another car near Olympic Boulevard and Los Angeles Street about 10:30 p.m., following an hour-long pursuit that wound through South Gate, Huntington Park and South L.A., police said.

Three LAPD officers fired an estimated 22 times at Brian Beaird, who was unarmed. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has put the officers on extended leave pending a final investigation, saying he was "very concerned" by the incident.

Beaird's father and brother stood outside LAPD headquarters a week after the shooting to announce that they had filed a $20-million claim against the city, a legal precursor required when suing a California government entity. An attorney for the Beaird family said that if the city doesn't reach an agreement, the family would pursue a federal wrongful-death suit.

Bill Beaird described his youngest son as a disabled veteran who was discharged from the National Guard in 1988 after a botched surgery on a brain tumor. The surgery left his son with brain trauma, Beaird said. He could be paranoid, his father said, particularly about police.

John Beaird, the oldest of Bill Beaird's four sons, said his youngest brother "made a lot of bad decisions that day." But, he said, the officers should not have shot him.

"I can only imagine how terrified and alone he was in the last moments of his life," he said.

An investigation into the shooting is underway. The department, which often provides written explanations for police shootings, has provided few details in the case.

-- Carla Rivera and Kate Mather

Photos: Brian Newt Beaird, in an undated photo courtesy of his family | Police investigators at the scene where a silver Corvette crashed at the intersection of Olympic Blvd. and Los Angeles Street after a pursuit involving multiple police agencies. The driver of the Corvette has died in an officer-involved shooting at the end of chase. (Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times)

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