(KTLA) — A violent carjacking in Pico Rivera, California led to the death of a 13-year-old girl Sunday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Two parents and their four children were inside a van parked in the 9200 block of Whittier Boulevard when the parents got out to buy some food at a business, Sheriff’s Lt. Barry Hall said. The car was running when the suspect saw no one in the front seat and “jumped in” while the couple’s children were still inside, according to Hall.
Hall said the suspect is Jose Aguilar of Los Angeles. Aguilar’s age is not clear since Hall identified him as both 26 and 27 years old while speaking with reporters.
Once inside the van, Aguilar allegedly ordered the children to jump out and briefly fought with one of them, an 18-year-old female. She was the only adult victim.
“The 18-year-old girl fought with the suspect briefly and then she came out of the van,” Hall said, explaining Aguilar had allegedly sped westbound down Whittier Boulevard.
“The doors were open. Because he accelerated, both doors came open on the van,” Hall said. “She got pushed out of the van or jumped out of the van. As did her 11-year-old brother.”
They received only minor injuries but their two siblings remained inside the van with the suspect, according to Hall.
When the vehicle reached the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Lindsey Avenue, less than half a mile away, an 8-year-old boy fell out of the vehicle as it drove between 45 and 50 mph, Hall said. The boy suffered what he described as “major injuries.”
The van continued driving about 55 to 60 mph along Whittier, and “a short distance later,” a 13-year-old girl came out of the vehicle, Hall said. He indicated that it’s still unclear whether any of the children were forced to get out or jumped out.
The girl was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Aguilar continued driving westbound on Whittier until he reached Rosemead Avenue, where the van crashed into another vehicle, Hall said. However, the car allegedly continued driving north on Rosemead for another 3 miles.
Eventually, the van stalled in El Monte, and the suspect got out and tried to steal another vehicle — a white Nissan parked outside some fruit stands, according to Hall. A man buying fruit saw Aguilar allegedly trying to carjack his vehicle.
“The dad who was trying to buy the fruit, jumps back into the car, chokes the guy out, and that’s when the fruit guys came up and helped him pull (the suspect) out of the car,” Hall said. “And I believe they actually tied him up and detained him for the deputies.”
Aguilar was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and is in the process of being booked, Hall said. He was recently arrested and released on suspicion of felony possession of a dirk or dagger and vandalism, according to authorities.
No other details have been released as the investigation continues.