Man Shot & Killed By Police Was Wanted For June Show Dog Theft

A man shot dead by police following a high speed chase Thursday morning is the same man who was still wanted for stealing a van full of show dogs in Redding in June. At around 5:30AM Thursday a Redding Police Officer spotted a stolen Honda Civic on Highway 273 near South Bonnyview. He followed it to Interstate 5 and tried to pull it over, but the driver, 42-year-old Benjamin David Larson, sped away southbound. The car stopped briefly near Knighton Road to allow a woman to jump from the car and conceal herself. The pursuit reached speeds of around 115 miles an hour until it reached Cottonwood. That’s where Larson took the Gas Point Road exit and got back onto the freeway northbound. After crossing a spike strip laid down by a deputy at Riverside Avenue in Anderson, the Honda stopped with a flat tire after a couple of miles just south of Knighton Road. Larson apparently fired shots at his pursuers and was hit by return fire, though that was not at first known. Officers thought he had fled on foot through a thicket of blackberries, and a perimeter was set up east of the freeway to try and contain him. Larson had fallen back into the car, according to Shasta County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant Brian Jackson. Officers watching the car thought they saw someone inside but couldn’t see through the window because it had been shot and was shattered but still intact. Bean bag rounds were used to break it the rest of the way out, leading to the discovery of Larson. Northbound Interstate Five traffic was halted for a couple of hours and then restricted to one lane, causing serious delays. The woman who had gotten out of the car before the chase was Larson’s girlfriend. She was located and questioned, but has not been arrested for anything. Larson was wanted for a theft of a van from In-N-Out Burger containing 14 show dogs on June 6th. The van and dogs were later recovered. An autopsy on Larson is set for next week.


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