Two innocent people were killed after a stolen vehicle pursuit ended with a crash in Panorama City Tuesday night.
The victims have been identified as Timothy Schultz, 49, and Christopher Teagardin, 47, on Wednesday night.
Reports of a stolen truck came in around 7:35 p.m. when officers began a pursuit near the 10600 block of El Dorado Avenue.
The driver, later identified as 32-year-old Oscar Delacruz, crashed into the victims’ vehicle, a silver sedan, near the intersection of Lanark Street and Woodman Avenue, police said.
“At the time the suspect was fleeing from officers, as the air unit came overhead, that suspect struck a vehicle that was going northbound on Woodman Avenue and, tragically, the two people that were inside of that vehicle have passed away as a result of that traffic collision with the suspect,” Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said.
Aerial footage of the scene from Sky5 shows the collision left both vehicles completely destroyed.
The sedan’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene and the sedan’s passenger later died from their injuries, authorities said.
The suspect’s truck contained two people, both of whom survived the crash.
After the collision, Delacruz attempted to flee, but officers from the Foothill Division who had been involved in the pursuit deployed a stun gun and take-down tactics to quickly detain the suspect, police said.
Both Delacruz and the passenger in the truck were taken to the hospital, police said, and Delacruz will face murder charges. He is being held without bail.
“This is a very tragic incident,” said Hamilton. “Unfortunately, we try to conduct these incidents where we go on pursuit as safely as possible, with all the tools that we have. That’s why we request an air unit right away. That’s why we go into tracking mode just as soon as we can, but at the same time, we have to balance that with a community member who has requested the police department to respond because their vehicle is being stolen.”