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A liquor store employee who was trying to stop a thief was fatally struck by the suspect in Long Beach Thursday night, authorities said.

Officers responded to a call about a crash involving a pedestrian near Anaheim Street and Magnolia Avenue around 10:30 p.m., according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Police arrived at the scene to find a man in his 50s on the eastbound lanes of Anaheim Street, but with the driver’s vehicle gone, the department said.

According to a preliminary investigation, the clerk had tried to stop a thief and climbed the hood of his sedan.

The victim remained on the vehicle as the thief drove for about three blocks, before the driver maneuvered to get the clerk off the car, police said.

The victim fell onto the eastbound side of Anaheim Street.

Police earlier said a utility van that subsequently came by fatally struck the victim, but now investigators believe the van’s driver had actually stopped to help the man — and that he died from injuries sustained when he was thrown off the suspect’s hood.

Coroner’s officials will determine an officials cause of death.

The Long Beach Fire Department responded to the location and tried to save the man’s life but ultimately pronounced him dead at the scene.

The county coroner has yet to notify his next of kin, the Police Department said.

Authorities described the thief as a black man who’s around 40 years old and 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He has a skinny build, short, dark hair and a mustache, and he was wearing a black short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans, police said. Official only described his vehicle as a four-door silver sedan.

Detectives were canvassing the area for any video that might have captured the incident, Benson told KTLA.

Anyone with information can call Detective Kelsey Myers or Detective Shawn Loughlin at 562-570-7355. Those who wish to remain anonymous can submit tips to L.A. Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477, using the “P3 Tips” app or visiting

Officials provided no further details about the case.