Laguna Beach Officer-Involved Shooting Prompts Investigation

March 12, 2021 Updated: March 12, 2021

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is investigating its second officer-involved shooting of the week after a Laguna Beach officer opened fire following a police pursuit.

The latest shooting happened March 11, after a Laguna Beach officer attempted to pull a vehicle over at Smithcliffs and North Coast Highway about 6:19 p.m., police said in a release.

The vehicle fled the scene, striking two vehicles along North Coast Highway, as more officers joined the chase into Newport Beach, police said.

The driver allegedly proceeded to made a U-turn and headed south on Coast Highway, back into Laguna Beach.

Police said they were able to disable the vehicle after passing Nyes Place. When the driver “quickly exited the vehicle,” he was shot, police said.

The driver, identified as 36-year-old Tobiah Paul Steinmetz, was taken to hospital for treatment. The Jupiter, Florida resident is in critical but stable condition, said police.

It was the second officer-involved shooting in Orange County this week.

A knife-wielding man was shot by police during a Costa Mesa robbery March 11, police said.

The shooting was preceded by a 4:45 a.m. report of a fight at a business at the 2200 block of Fairview Road, the Costa Mesa Police Department said in a release.

Police arrived to find a man stabbing the cashier, and shot him at least once.

Both the victim and robber were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment. The victim is in stable condition.

The condition of the man shot by police is unknown.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office is investigating both cases, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings.

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