“He makes eye contact with the officer and starts to run. . . . The next thing [the officer] knows is that he’s being shot at,” Balian said.
That officer, who was not hit, called for backup as he chased Gonzales from Adams to Elk Avenue, Balian said. When two other officers arrived, Gonzales was hiding in some bushes and fired at the officers as they stepped out of their patrol cars, he said. One of the officers, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was hit in the chest.
“If he didn’t have a vest on, he would have been killed,” Balian said.
Officers continued to chase Gonzales, who kept firing shots and took aim at a patrol car that was blocking his path, Balian said.
An officer got out of his car and fired at Gonzales, hitting him several times. Gonzales died on the 300 block of South Chevy Chase Drive, Balian said.
A .45-caliber handgun was recovered at the scene, Assistant Police Chief Ronald DePompa said.
After the shooting, the Glendale Police Department was contacted by officials at the Los Angeles Police Department with information that Gonzales was the prime suspect in a homicide that occurred in northeast Los Angeles, two to three hours before the incident in Glendale, Balian said.
Gonzales — who had been released two weeks ago from state prison on parole for second-degree murder — had apparently just been dropped off in Glendale before he was approached by police, who did not know he was a suspect in the Los Angeles homicide, Balian said.
“[Gonzales] was trying to do everything he could to get away from police,” he said.
Shell casings found at the Los Angeles crime scene matched the casings found in Glendale, he said.
“They feel very confidant that David Gonzales was their suspect in their murder investigation,” Balian said.