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Cop kills passenger after chase

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — A pursuit that began in San Diego Sunday morning ended in Escondido when police shot and killed a man who said he was armed and holding the female driver hostage, police said.

San Diego police officers tried to pull over a maroon pickup for a minor violation shortly before 7 a.m. on northbound Interstate 15 near Aero Drive, Escondido Police Lt. Neal Griffin said.

The driver took off with police in pursuit. The chase ended in gunfire about 40 minutes later near North Centre City Parkway and Country Club Lane in Escondido.

During the chase, the passenger, identified by relatives as 27-year-old Aaron Devener, called police on a cell phone.

“He made a number of threats against the woman, who he identified as a hostage,” Griffin said. “He also threatened that he had a firearm and he threatened that he had explosives.”

photo 3 (2)Authorities were able to stall the truck by laying spike strips along the roadway.  When it stopped, Devener appeared to make an aggressive move against the driver.  An officer shot his gun once, killing Devener, the lieutenant said.

The female driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, not sustained by the fatal shooting, according to Griffin.  She was later released from the hospital.

Northbound Centre City Parkway remained closed at Country Club Lane as bomb squad investigated the truck, according to Escondido police.  No explosives were found, Griffin said.

The off-ramp from Interstate 15 to North Center City Parkway was also closed because of police activity, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Police have not officially identified the dead man or the driver  or the relationship between them.

However, Devener’s aunt spoke with reporters at the scene of the shooting. She said she never expected her nephew to be involved in a violent confrontation with police.

“It was awful. I never thought this would happen, and you hear about this stuff all the time,” Julie Hurd said. “You never realize it until it come this close to home.”

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