Police in Southern California last weekend killed a man after opening fire on a SWAT team that was dispatched to chase his car on an eastbound freeway, officials said.
The man, identified as 28-year-old Austin Edwards, is wanted in connection with a triple homicide in the city of Riverside and is considered armed and dangerous, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Edwards wasCBS Los Angeles reported that a home in the La Sierra neighborhood of Riverside contained Mary Wynk, 69, Shari Wynk, 65, and Brooke Wynk, 38, which went up in flames. The authorities allege that Edwards from home after committing the heinous crime that took the lives of his grandfather, grandmother and mother.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Edwards was unharmed during a police search and was taken into protective custody.
As the station reported, officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office believe Edwards was involved in an online catfishing scheme that targeted teens. He says he traveled from his home in North Chesterfield, Virginia, to California to follow her after obtaining her personal information.
“This is yet another terrifying reminder of the many online predators who prey on our children,” said Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez, according to CBS LA. Social media, take it again. If not, start it now for better protection.”
Police say they saw Edwards driving a red Kia Soul on Highway 247 last Friday night. Because the vehicle matched the description of the car linked to the triple homicide in La Sierra, aviation units with both the Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol followed the Kia from a distance until a SWAT team was nearby, officials said.
The SWAT team intercepted Edwards’ car as it began traveling east on Highway 62, at which point, the suspect fled and later fired at officers, hitting the SWAT vehicle multiple times, according to the sheriff’s department. . The car chase ended when Edwards “lost control” of his vehicle and veered off the road, the department said, before exiting the Kia Soul and firing again in their direction and he was killed by officers. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy will be performed to formally determine the cause of death.
The sheriff’s department said that by the time Edwards died, the teen had been rescued by police.