Authorities on Thursday released dashcam video of the dramatic pursuit and fatal shooting of a man who rammed and fired at a school bus driven by his wife before he was shot and killed by police in Buena Park.
The high-speed pursuit started on the afternoon of Sept. 3, when an officer patrolling the area of Orangethorpe and Western avenues spotted a silver SUV colliding with the school bus.
The officer then saw the SUV’s driver, later identified as 60-year-old Cedric Baxter of Compton, pull out a gun and shoot at the bus, Buena Park Police Sgt. Chad Weaver said in a video statement.
At the time of the shooting, there was a 6-year-old boy on the bus, which was being driven by Baxter’s wife, whom the man was trying to kill, Weaver said.
The man then got back into the car and fled as the officer initiated a pursuit.
The suspect drove dangerously, chasing and repeatedly ramming the school bus right in front of the officer during the high-speed pursuit, graphic dashcam video released by police showed.
At one point, Baxter drove to the Buena Park School District bus maintenance yard in the 6800 block of Orangethorpe Avenue, circled a parking area and then went back out on city streets.
The chase continued, with the SUV speeding, driving over sidewalks, running stop signs, and at times driving the wrong way and nearly crashing into several vehicles.
Baxter then drove back to the school district’s bus yard, crashed through a locked gate and then slammed into a parked vehicle.
After crashing the SUV, the man gets out with what appears to be a gun in his hand, the video shows.
As he emerges from the vehicle, a rapid succession of gunshots is heard and the man points the apparent firearm in his hand towards police as he falls to the ground and gunfire continues.
It’s unclear if he fired any shots at the officers.
Body-worn camera released by police showed at least two officers quickly getting out of their patrol cars and shooting at the man after he crashed.
He’s later seen motionless on the ground as officers pointed firearms towards him, saying “standby,” “he’s got a gun” and yelled at him to “drop the gun.”
Officers later began rendering medical aid to Baxter before Orange County Fire Authority paramedics responded and pronounced him dead at the scene, the sergeant said.
Police released photos of a black gun they said Baxter used, as well as a photo of a bullet strike on the school bus.
“The investigation revealed that this was not a random act, but the school bus driver was Mr. Baxter’s wife, and he intended to murder her,” the sergeant said.
His wife had an active domestic violence restraining order out against Baxter for an incident that happened in Los Angeles County, according to Buena Park police.
Baxter also had an extensive criminal history, which includes prior convictions for rape, armed robbery, voluntary manslaughter, narcotic-related offenses and domestic violence, Weaver said.
At the time of the shooting, Baxter was on active parole for vehicle theft and his parole had been revoked.
There was an active parole violation warrant for Mr. Baxter and he had cut off his GPS monitoring device related to his status as a sex offender, Weaver added.
The police shooting remains under investigation.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation into the actions of the involved officers to determine whether their actions were within the law.
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