My heart momentarily stopped as I watched on television.
The man, later identified as 24-year-old Dylan Andres Lindsey of Torrance, slung his body over the side of the speeding gray Prius, firing his long-barreled revolver at the Downey police officers in pursuit.
The Prius eventually rolled to a stop just before the railroad tracks – ironically enough – at Downey Road in Vernon.
Lindsey was the prime suspect in the murder of a Downey liquor store clerk two nights before and police tracked him to Bell Gardens after releasing his image to the media. A side by side comparison of the weapon used by the killer and Lindsey left no doubt it was the same person.
The Prius stopped with a Downey police officer right behind him. The officer exited, shielded himself, and there appeared to be an exchange of gunfire. The Prius’ windows shattered under a cloud of white smoke.
This is where my heart paused.
On live TV, it appeared the Downey officer needed to reload. He ran to the passenger side of his SUV patrol vehicle, but the door was locked. He was vulnerable.
Luckily, at that exact moment, another police officer – this one on a motorcycle – arrived at the scene, providing cover as the Downey police officer reloaded his firearm. Soon, other officers from various agencies joined the shootout and Lindsey was heavily outnumbered and outgunned.
Authorities say Lindsey suffered at least two gunshot wounds, one of which was likely self-inflicted. Unfortunately, he won’t face the consequences of his actions, as he died of his injuries Thursday morning.
After Lindsey was taken into custody and we were assured no innocent people were seriously injured in the chase and standoff, I had a few feelings:
One, incredible gratitude to Downey Police. Since the tragic murder of Gurpreet Singh, the department clearly worked 24/7 to solve the case, showing equal parts compassion and resolve. Neighboring cities have grown so accustomed to violent crime that it’s become normalized within the community. Thankfully, that’s not the case in Downey.
Two, watching the shootout unfold on TV, it was a stark reminder of the dangers Downey police officers place themselves in for the benefit of the community they serve. It was a remarkable gesture of bravery that members of the public don’t often get to see.
The pursuit, standoff and ultimate apprehension of Dylan Lindsey was seen live across the country and even around the world. Downey Police displayed poise and unbelievable professionalism.
Downey should be proud.