BELL (CBSLA.com) — Classmates at Bell High School mourned the loss of a 17-year-old student who was killed by a hit-and-run driver while skateboarding over the weekend.
Joshua Maldonado, 17, was struck around 11:20 p.m. Saturday while skateboarding near Gage and Bear avenues, according to Bell police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A witness said the driver stopped briefly and fled after Maldonado’s body fell off the vehicle.
Police told reporters Monday they would like to contact Charles Garcia, a 36-year-old Hispanic male who is about 5’11” tall, around 150 pounds and is described as a person of interest in the case. Police described the car as a 2002 silver four-door Mitsubishi Galant.
The vehicle would have moderate to major front end damage, authorities said. The windshield is also likely damaged.
On Sunday night, KCAL9’s Rebecca Ferriter spoke to Maldonado’s devastated friends and family, who described him as an upbeat teen who was always in good humor.
“He loved taking pictures, he would skate around everywhere just trying to capture that shot,” said Christian Maldonado, Joshua’s older brother.
“I feel whoever is responsible for this will be captured,” he added.
Police were asking for the public’s help finding the suspect, who was driving what was described as a late-model, light silver small import vehicle. The vehicle sustained moderate the major front-end damage, according to Bell Police Sgt. Tom Rodriguez.
While police investigate, Joshua’s friends and family try to make sense of his loss.
“My heart is feeling really bad right now, I saw him two days ago. Every day you saw him he was so cheerful. He was happy,” said Joshua’s best friend, Mateo Cordova.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at (323) 585-1245, ext. 254.
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