A 13-year-old girl is dead and a 26-year-old suspect is in custody after a violent carjacking in California over the weekend.
What are the details?
The girl’s parents drove to a Paco Rivera, California, restaurant on Sunday to pick up food for the family, according to KABC-TV.
The adults parked their family van — which held their four children, ages 18, 13, 11, and 8 — outside the restaurant. The adults left the van running so that the children could remain inside with air conditioning.
It was at that point that the suspect, 26-year-old Jose Aguilar, allegedly took the opportunity to make off with the still-running vehicle and demanded that all four children get out of the van.
According to Lt. Barry Hall of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the 18-year-old attempted to fight Aguilar off during the incident.
“Once the suspect got into the car, the 18-year-old girl fought with the suspect briefly and then she came out of the van,” Hall explained, pointing out that it was unclear whether the girl was shoved out of the vehicle or if she had jumped. “The doors were open. Because he accelerated, both doors came open on the van. She got pushed out of the van or jumped out of the van as did her 11-year-old brother.”
The 18-year-old girl and the 11-year-old boy both sustained minor injuries during the altercation with the suspect, authorities added.
The 13-year-old and the 8-year-old were apparently unable to exit the vehicle at that time, authorities explained, and the suspect sped off at a speed of up to 60 mph.
“The vehicle continued westbound, and that is when the 8-year-old boy and the 13-year-old girl came out of the vehicle,” Hall explained. “Both of them sustained major injuries and the 13-year-old girl died at the scene.”
Authorities noted that it was also unclear whether the two children jumped from the moving van or if they were pushed.
The suspect continued to speed for another several miles before crashing into another vehicle, cops said. He reportedly exited the van and attempted to steal another vehicle. This second vehicle also contained a family who had stopped at a roadside fruit stand to purchase produce.
The driver of the vehicle reportedly fought Aguilar off, and nearby good Samaritans helped the unnamed driver restrain the suspect until authorities arrived on the scene.
Hall explained, “The dad who was trying to buy the fruit jumps back into the car, chokes the guy out, and that is when the fruit guys came up and helped him, pulled him out of the car, and I believe they actually tied him up and detained him for the deputies.”