VENTURA, California — A suspect who led police on a chase that ended on the 101 Freeway in Ventura has died after he apparently poisoned himself, the California Highway Patrol said.
Authorities had earlier said at least one shot was fired, but CHP now says no shots were fired. The suspect was declared dead at the scene.
The incident began when a check of a vehicle in Oxnard came back with information that the car belonged to a rape suspect, CHP officials said. Officers tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver refused, initiating a chase.
The driver stopped the car in the middle of the northbound 101 Freeway south of Seaward Avenue in Ventura. Police say it is unclear at this time whether the suspect crashed into the center median or if the vehicle came to a stop on its own, but if he hit the median, it was not at a great speed.
No officers were injured.
The suspect was seen motionless outside of the vehicle. The passenger-side glass appeared shattered, and there were glass fragments all over the ground.
Both sides of the 101 Freeway were initially shut down from Sanjon Road to Seaward Avenue. One northbound lane and all southbound lanes were reopened a short time later. It was not known how long the closure would last, according to Ventura police.