A story for every victim

Miguel Angel Hernandez, 39

Miguel Hernandez, a 39-year-old Latino, was killed on Thursday, Jan. 14, during a deputy-involved shooting at Shangri-La Drive and Nathan Hills Drive in Santa Clarita, according to investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The incident began about 7:50 p.m. when a sheriff's deputy spotted a white Lexus that matched the description of a vehicle that had been involved in a road rage shooting the day before in Santa Clarita, Lt. Eddie Hernandez said. 

The deputy pulled the car over, and the driver, later identified as Hernandez, got out of the car and began shouting profanities at the deputy, according to a department news release. 

The deputy ordered the driver to put his hands in the air, Lt. Hernandez said, but the driver refused to comply. Instead, the driver turned his body and "aggressively reached behind his back, appearing to retrieve a weapon," according to the new release. 

The deputy opened fired, fearing the driver was going to pull out a gun and shoot him, Lt. Hernandez said. 

The driver, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:25 p.m., Lt. Hernandez said.

No firearms were found on Miguel Hernandez or in his vehicle, but investigators found a knife in an open and locked position next to where he fell, Lt. Hernandez said. 

A white male passenger in the car was uninjured, Lt. Hernandez said, and was arrested without incident on a warrant accusing him of a parole violation. 

Investigators are still trying to determine if the car Miguel Hernandez was driving was involved in a shooting incident at the corner of Silverado and Via Canon in Santa Clarita on Jan. 13, Lt. Hernandez said. 

In that incident, a white male driving a two-tone, late-2000 model Lexus with chrome wheels and tinted windows fired a gun at the driver of another car, Hernandez said. 

No one was injured in that shooting, but the victim said the incident began when the two cars were driving north on the Antelope Valley Freeway about 6 p.m. and then exited at Newhall Avenue, to Silverado, Lt. Hernandez said. The driver of the suspect car was described as a white male between 20 and 25 and wearing a black hat. 

Lt. Hernandez said a description of the car was broadcast to deputies, and the car Miguel Hernandez was driving looked very similar, down to the chrome wheels and tinted windows. He said the passenger riding with Miguel Hernandez is now a suspect in the Jan. 13 shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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