BALDWIN PARK, Calif. (AP) _ A robbery suspect was wounded in a shootout with police early Thursday after he led them on a 4 1/2-hour chase and then held officers at bay for six more hours on the side of a freeway.
Santiago Gutierrez, 39, opened fire on police officers about 2:30 a.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Rosa Ray said. Members of a Los Angeles County sheriff's SWAT team then shot Gutierrez.
Gutierrez, described as critically injured, was taken to a hospital.
No officers were wounded in the shootout, but one officer was injured earlier in a traffic accident while responding to a request for crowd control. He was hospitalized in fair condition.
The distraught gunman had talked to his brother, estranged wife and other relatives via cellphone during the pursuit, CHP Officer Wendy Moore said.
``At one point he had threatened to kill himself,'' Moore said. ``He's going through a divorce; he's just lost his house.'' He also threatened to kill others, she said.
The chase began about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday when a man brandishing a gun robbed a Baldwin Park Mobil station of a $48 worth of gas.
``He didn't take any money. He just wanted gas,'' said Sam Abu Lashin, 43, the station's owner.
``He just shot in the air, and then he looked around and he pointed the gun on all the customers, and then he just took off,'' Lashin told KCAL-TV. ``He was kind of mad.''
Gutierrez fled onto a freeway, pursued by patrol cars and a police helicopter. The silver Chevrolet Astro van weaved on and off freeways and surface streets, looping through several suburbs in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
Moore said the suspect fired shots into the air several times during the chase, which reached speeds of up to 95 mph. At one point, television news images showed the driver pointing a gun out the van window at a motorist stopped in traffic in front of him. The car moved and the van rolled on.
The chase finally ended back in Baldwin Park when the van apparently ran out of gas and pulled onto the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 10.
Gutierrez kept officers at bay for hours more, obscuring the driver's side window with a white substance before the standoff ended in the shootout, authorities said.
Interstate 10 was closed in both directions for more than six hours.