Police Identify Pursuit Suspect Found Dead in His Car After 91 Freeway Standoff

Police Identify Pursuit Suspect Found Dead in His Car After 91 Freeway Standoff

The 91 Freeway near Lakeview Avenue in Anaheim, Calif., in September 2021. (Google Maps / Screenshot via California Insider)

City News Service
City News Service

5/28/2024

Updated: 5/28/2024

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The suspect who led authorities on a pursuit from Corona to Anaheim Hills, where he engaged in an hours-long standoff on the Riverside (91) Freeway before being found dead inside his vehicle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, was identified May 28.
The pursuit began just after 8 a.m. Friday when Corona police officers attempted to stop the suspect near McKinley Street and Griffin Way, but the suspect drove off, Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis of the Corona Police Department said.
Police said the suspect, identified as Efrain Quezada, 40, of La Puente was wanted on suspicion of stalking, criminal threats and violation of a domestic violence restraining order.
The California Highway Patrol joined the chase and was on the scene when the suspect stopped on the 91 Freeway near Lakeview Avenue. Using armored vehicles from the Corona and Anaheim police departments, officers were able to block the front and rear of the vehicle, Kouroubacalis said.
The ensuing standoff frustrated commuters as the freeway was shut down in the area while Corona Police Department’s crisis negotiators spoke with the suspect via his cell phone for more than two hours in an effort to coax him into surrendering peacefully.
Just before noon, the suspect appeared to stop moving inside his vehicle and stopped communicating with authorities, according to Kouroubacalis.
Police fired flash bangs into the vehicle to startle the suspect to see if he was conscious, but there was no response.
Members of the Corona police Special Response Team approached the vehicle and determined the suspect had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Kouroubacalis said.
Officers removed the suspect from the vehicle and paramedics from the Corona and Anaheim fire departments pronounced him dead.
Police said no deadly force was employed by officers at the scene of the standoff.
The freeway closure lasted more than four hours and resulted in a miles-long backup in both directions. Westbound traffic was diverted at Lakeview and eastbound traffic was rerouted to the southbound Costa Mesa (55) Freeway, CHP Officer Sergio Rivera said.
Shelter-in-place orders at nearby Crescent Elementary School and Orange Pre-K were lifted by the afternoon and all students were sent home, said Hana Brake, a spokeswoman for the Orange Unified School District.
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