Corona- A man, who authorities believe may be connected to a Los Angeles County homicide case, shot and killed himself following a high speed pursuit that began in Hesperia and ended in Corona, on Friday, March 23.
The driver, identified as Christopher Spotz, 33, of North Hollywood, was armed with a handgun during the pursuit and was later pronounced deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to California Highway Patrol Officials.
San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies began the pursuit around 8:45p.m. on Friday night. They informed the CHP that their deputies were heading south on the 15 Freeway in Hesperia and were in pursuit of a Toyota Tacoma pickup that had been reported as stolen.
The pursuit began when a deputy from Hesperia, who was in the area of Mariposa Road and the 15 freeway, received a license-plate reader alert that the Tacoma had been involved in a crime in LAPD’s jurisdiction. The deputy attempted to pull the driver of the vehicle over. Spotz apparently had other plans and instead continued driving south on the freeway at a high rate of speed.
Other deputies then joined the chase and pursued the vehicle through the Cajon Pass and into both San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Once they entered the Mira Loma area, in Riverside County, San Bernardino Deputies dropped out of the pursuit and California Highway Patrol officers assumed the pursuit.
During the pursuit, officials used two spike strips, which flattened the truck’s tires, but the driver refused to stop and eventually got onto the westbound 91 Freeway, officials said, exiting at Green River Road in Corona and heading to Rio Vista Street, a dirt road south of the 91. At approximately 9:38 p.m., the driver pulled over, turned his weapon on himself and pulled the trigger. The Riverside County Coroner stated that the official time of death was 10:23 p.m.
According to news reports, citing several law enforcement sources, Spotz was the boyfriend of a 25-year-old aspiring model and actress from Macedonia who went missing in Hollywood last month. Authorities suspect that the woman was most likely murdered and believe that Spotz was somehow involved in her disappearance and/or homicide. ■