BOYNTON BEACH - A 17-year-old wanted in Pennsylvania for attempted homicide in the shooting of his girlfriend was shot to death Wednesday by a trooper after firing a shotgun at the officer, police said. The teen-ager was identified as James L. Perloff Jr. of Westchester, Pa. Trooper Wallace Dill of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) was not injured, police said.
A 16-year-old girl, identified by police as a runaway who led the trooper on a chase in a stolen station wagon, was taken into custody, according to a police statement.
Police said the shooting occurred after the chase, which began during a traffic stop and ended with the girl crashing the station wagon into a wall. Dill was stopped in his patrol car when police allege Perloff, a passenger in the station wagon, shot at the car with pellets, striking the front fender, windshield and driver's side spotlight.
The trooper took cover and fired two shots, one hitting the rear fender of the station wagon. The other shot hit Perloff in the head, according to the statement.
Perloff was taken to Bethesda Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Autopsy results are expected today.
The incident began about 10 a.m. when Dill, a five-and-a-half-year veteran working out of FHP's Lantana post, stopped the station wagon for speeding on Interstate 95 in Delray Beach, about 50 miles north of Miami, police said.
Police said Perloff, who couldn't produce a driver's license, was driving and the girl was a passenger. But because the girl had a driver's license, Dill told the two to switch places.
During background checks on the pair, Dill was told that the girl was a runaway, police said. The pair, with the girl at the wheel, then took off in the car. The chase ended a few miles away at the entrance to a development complex in Boynton Beach, according to the statement.
Police recovered a 12-gauge shotgun and a .32-caliber revolver.
Police said they later learned that Perloff was wanted by Westchester authorities in the shotgun shooting Tuesday of his girlfriend.
Police said Perloff stole the station wagon and asked the runaway girl to accompany him on a trip to the Florida Keys.