Berkeley Police Kill Armed Suspect Following Chase

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Three Berkeley Police Department officers shot and killed a hit-and-run suspect in West Berkeley Monday night after the suspect fired at the officers during a foot chase, police said.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave while three concurrent investigations look into the shooting - a standard department policy when any officer is involved in a shooting, according to Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.

Choung Van Nguyen, 25, was being pursued by Albany police after allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run. As the chase moved south into Berkeley, Albany police asked for emergency assistance from Berkeley police at around 10:45 p.m, Kusmiss said.

Nguyen stopped his car at 8th and James streets in West Berkeley, fleeing westbound on foot. According to Kusmiss, eight Berkeley police officers set up a block cover in the area and a Berkeley police sergeant pursued Nguyen on foot.

Kusmiss said that at this point three officers patrolling the area "leapt out of their cars to join the foot chase, but before they had that opportunity ... the suspect turned and pointed a semi-automatic pistol at the officers."

Nguyen fired at least once at officers, at which point the three officers joining the pursuit fired multiple shots at Nguyen, killing him instantly.

At approximately 10:55 p.m., just 10 minutes after Berkeley police were called in for assistance, Nguyen was pronounced dead at the scene by Berkeley Fire Department paramedics.

The police department's internal affairs unit and homicide unit, as well as the Alameda County District Attorney's Office will be investigating the shooting.

Javier Panzar is the news editor. Contact him at [email protected]

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