Authorities say 25 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cadets were wounded, five of which critically, after a driver veered into a morning PT run in Whittier, California, on Wednesday.
Video footage captured the moments after a car collided into LASD recruits in Whittier this morning. @SGVNews pic.twitter.com/yxdlpGcGEd
— San Gabriel Valley News (@SGVNews) November 17, 2022
The LA Times, citing local authorities and witnesses, reported that the group of cadets initially set out for a morning run near the sheriff’s STARS Center Academy, where they were accompanied by instructors and two marked patrol cars. At around 0630 local time, a Honda CRV driving down the street veered into the opposite lane and hit the group at around 40 mph. The vehicle approached head on, so runners at the front of the formation were able to get out of the way, but those behind them were hit. After hitting the cadets, the vehicle then crashed into a light pole and remained on scene.
The suspect, identified as Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, was detained on scene and was later arrested. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a statement on Thursday announcing Gutierrez had been charged with attempted murder on a peace officer and that additional charges are pending.
WATCH: Car ramming that left 25 sheriff recruits injured in Whittier, California caught on camera; police investigating motive pic.twitter.com/tTsmwsdoR3
— Intel Point ALERT (@IntelPointAlert) November 17, 2022
“Homicide investigators are continuing their investigation and will share additional information as it becomes available. Homicide investigators intend to present this case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office this Friday for filing considerations,” the statement also said.
An exact motive behind the ramming remains unknown, but authorities have thrown out the possibility of intoxication playing a role.