REDDING — A man suspected of stealing a van full of show dogs in June was killed by officers’ gunfire Thursday following a car chase.
Just before 5:30 a.m., a Redding police officer patrolling South Market Street and South Bonnyview Road spotted a stolen Honda Civic with license plates from a different car. According to the Redding Police Department, the car sped away when the officer tried to stop it.
The officer pursued the Honda southbound on Interstate 5 before the driver stopped for a moment in the area of Knighton Road. A woman got out of the car and lay on the ground, according to the police department. Investigators later determined the woman was the driver’s girlfriend.
Several agencies joined the pursuit and the driver’s car was stopped by a tack strip after he drove to the northbound side of the interstate.
The police department reports when the driver left the car he started shooting at officers, who returned fire. Medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The police department has identified the driver as Benjamin David Larson, 42. Larson had been wanted since November and faced charges of violating his parole and vehicle theft.
On June 6, Larson stole a van with 14 show dogs inside from an In-N-Out parking lot. The dogs were found the next day.