A man who allegedly crashed a stolen vehicle in Sun Valley, causing the death of one of his passengers and injuring the other, was taken into custody Monday evening, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Oscar Armando Lopez was taken into custody at about 7:15 p.m. in the 7300 block of Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood after his family viewed a news conference held by LAPD earlier in the day and contacted investigators, a news release stated.
Lopez was driving an unreported stolen Nissan Murano at around 3:30 a.m. on June 7 when he crashed into two parked vehicles and a street light, police said. He had been speeding on Sherman Way near Vineland Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle, investigators said.
His two passengers — 23-year-old Jesus Alberto Torres of Sun Valley and a 37-year-old woman whose name was not released — were ejected from the car, according to police. LAPD said it initially misstated the number of Lopez’s passengers, and though officials gave Torres’ first name as Juan, his family said it was Jesus.
Footage from the incident shows Lopez exiting the car and staying briefly before fleeing, LAPD added.
L.A. Fire Department paramedics who later responded to the incident pronounced Torres dead at the scene, the Police Department said. The woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.
Torres’ family described him as someone who was incredible selfless and would help feed the homeless whenever he could. His mother, Carolina Torres, said he had just met Lopez on the day he died.
“It’s very, very, very hard. We have a lot of pain,” she told KTLA. “These people killed my son.”
Now that Lopez is in custody, Carolina said she feels “a little bit more relief.”
“But my pain, it’s still here,” she added. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jesus’ funeral.
At the news conference before Lopez’s arrest on Monday, LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman described the suspect a gang member who should be considered “a danger to our community.”
He said Lopez “felt absolutely no compassion to stop and render aid to people knew that were in the vehicle with him, whom he walked up to, saw that they needed immediate medical attention and failed to even make an anonymous 911 call,” Neiman said. “So that’s the type of individual we’re dealing with here.”
The captain only described Lopez’s passengers as his acquaintances.
Neiman said in the last 24 hours, Lopez was spotted near Sherman Way and Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood but he ran away when officers tried to apprehend him. But it wasn’t until his whereabouts were shared by his family that police tracked him down.
KTLA’s Juan Flores contributed to this story.