Faced with the third case in a year of deputies firing scores of shots at a suspect, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has ordered an investigation into whether six deputies used too much force earlier this week when they unleashed 70 rounds at a suspect, says the Los Angeles Times. At least one deputy fired so many shots that he reloaded his weapon during the incident, which left 27-year-old Carl Williams dead. Williams was shot following a car chase that ended when he crashed into a patrol car and a pole Tuesday night. When he then drove toward law enforcers on the scene, six deputies opened fire.
The shooting comes a year after deputies in Compton fired 120 rounds at a suspect they were chasing on a residential street. Some of the bullets flew into nearby homes and embedded in walls. After that incident, the Sheriff’s Department imposed rules that made it more difficult for deputies to fire at moving cars and to fire multiple times. Baca said he was concerned that the shooting could have been a case of “contagious fire,” in which deputies fire their weapons because they hear a gunshot. But in January, deputies fired more than 50 shots into a Compton house where a suspect was holed up. That case is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs detectives.