Seconds after the Mitsubishi Lloyd Nelson Jr. was driving struck a police cruiser head-on following a slow-speed chase with police in May, the former LASD deputy and Marine fired two shots through the windshield of his Mitsubishi at a Pasadena police officer, according to video footage shown to local reporters on Tuesday.
Nelson continued to fire as he sprang from his vehicle before he was fatally wounded on Corson Street near Allen Avenue.
Due to Nelson’s immediate actions at the end of the pursuit, officers never had a chance to deescalate the situation at the end of the shooting.
“It’s tragic,” Police Chief John Perez said on Tuesday. “The officers had no choice.”
Nelson had three weapons in the vehicle, one in the center console, one tucked between the passenger seat and the console and the one he used to fire at officers. None of the weapons were registered to him, he also had 400 rounds of ammunition in his vehicle.
Although police have not discovered Nelson’s motive, his behavior shortly before the incident may indicate he was seeking to have a fatal encounter with police.
According to Perez, Nelson apologized to several friends for them and said goodbye to them because, “The police are looking for me.”
At that time, Nelson had no warrants and was not wanted by the police according to police.
[UPDATED] The six minute vehicle recounted the events between Nelson and police that began shortly after 3:30 p.m. on May 8.
Nelson first encountered police on Colorado Boulevard near Pasadena City College. Nelson blocked several lanes, left his vehicle and walked around to the passenger side and attempted to open the door before re-entering the driver’s side and speeding off.
Police initially engaged in a pursuit of the vehicle, but were later told to disengage after a police helicopter began tracking him, but Nelson did not slow down after police backed off. Instead, the 47-year old San Diego resident continued to run red lights and violate traffic lights.
“He never tried to get on the freeway. He wasn’t trying to get away,” said Lt. Bill Grisafe. “He kept his hazard lights on the entire time.”
A short time later, police re-engaged Nelson and tried several pit maneuvers to stop Nelson’s vehicle, including one that knocked his bumper off on Walnut Street near Lake Avenue.
The maneuver was later successfully executed near Allen Avenue and Corson Street where the vehicle struck the police cruiser.
Although multiple officers were at the scene, all of them did not fire their weapons, according to the video released on Tuesday.
A police officer sustained a gunshot wound to the leg in that incident.
Detectives responded to the scene and immediately commenced an investigation, scouring the area for witnesses and evidence.
Nelson’s family was shown the video via zoom last week.
After critical incidents, and in response to some inquiries by reporters, the Pasadena Police Department has released multiple body worn camera videos over the past two years.