Man dies of apparent gunshot wound after vehicle chase
In a press release from Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon, the man has been identified as Charles Hartz, 27, of Yuba City, Calif. He had been reported missing from the Woodland area and was reportedly suicidal.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), at 7:45 p.m. officers were conducting one-way traffic control at an injury collision on Highway 139, when Hartz, traveling southbound in a white Toyota Tacomaapproached the closure and failed to stop when an officer directed him to do so.Hartz continued through the scene of rescue personnel and equipment at 35 to 40 miles per hour, according to the CHP.
The CHP said officers entered their patrol vehicles to conduct a traffic stop but Hartz failed to yield to the red lights and sirens. A registration check on the Toyota returned with information that Hartz was allegedlyarmed and dangerous and described as suicidal.
Hartz continued driving southbound on Highway 139 toward Susanville and drove across a tire-flattening device north of Spring Ridge Drive. He then drove off the west roadway and into an area with large rocks and sagebrush where the vehicle came to an abrupt stop.
According to the CHP, officers and deputies from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO),closed the highway and made several unsuccessful attempts to have Hartz exit his vehicle.
In the press release, Growdon said Hartz was observed to be slouched over.
The LCSO’s armored vehicle was requested and was utilized to approach the vehicle. Upon reaching the truck, deputies requested that medical personnel respond. They found no signs of life and a deputy sheriff coroner pronounced Hartz dead.
An official cause of death won’t be made until after the investigation and autopsy are completed, according to Growdon.
The CHP said additional firearms and a substantial amount of ammunition were located in the truck.
The highway re-opened at 8:57 p.m.
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