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Shonchy Thaopraseuth, 22

Shonchy Thaopraseuth, a 22-year-old Asian man, was shot and killed by police Thursday, Feb. 23, in the 3200 block of Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Thaopraseuth, an armed carjacking suspect, drove to North Valley Boulevard and Eastern Avenue in El Sereno, where he dumped the car he was driving and stole a Saturn from a 65-year-old man, according to police sources.

With LAPD officers in pursuit and TV news helicopters overhead, Thaopraseuth led officers on a slow chase across city streets. It ended shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Live television coverage showed Thaopraseuth driving on the 101 Freeway, rolling past people on bustling Hollywood Boulevard and pulling the car into a gas station on Wilshire Boulevard, where at least one officer fired multiple shots into the vehicle as a bystander ducked for cover near an adjacent vehicle.

When the the suspect "pulled out his revolver and pointed it at people inside the store, the officers took action, fired their rounds and the suspect expired at the scene," LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said.

Coroner's records show Thaopraseuth was shot several times in the head and torso.

A revolver was found inside the older-model Saturn, said LAPD sources familiar with the incident. They said that officers believed the man was pointing the weapon at people inside a convenience store.

Harry Hahn, the convenience store owner, said Thaopraseuth pulled into his gas station and appeared to have a gun in his hand.

"Maybe he gonna shoot me?," Hahn told KTLA-TV Channel 5 News, adding that he dropped to the ground and crawled toward police officers.

He told the station he feels grateful to be alive. "Every morning I'm gonna pray to God."

The LAPD Force Investigation Division is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the FID at (213) 486-5230. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Los Angeles Times

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