A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.
A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

A person of interest was named Monday in the hit-and-run death of a Bell High School student who was struck while skateboarding.

Bell police asked for the public’s help finding Charles Garcia, who is believed to be about 36 years old. He was described as 5-foot-11 and around 150 pounds. Police said he owner of a four-door, 2002 silver Mitsubishi Galant matching the description of the vehicle that is believed to have been heavily damaged when it struck 17-year-old Joshua Maldonado around 11:20 p.m. Sunday near Gage and Bear avenues.

Joshua was pronounced dead at the scene.

Counselors were on hand at Bell High School Monday as students returned to class.

Friends and relatives described Joshua as an up-beat teen who was always in good humor.

“My heart is feeling really bad right now,” Joshua’s friend, Mateo Cordova, told KCAL9. “Every day you saw him he was so cheerful. He was happy.”

His brother, Christian, told reporters Monday that Joshua had a passion for taking pictures.

“He loved taking pictures,” Christian said. “He would ride around on his skateboard around the city, around Los Angeles, you know, just taking pictures. It was something he really enjoyed. He would post them on his Instagram and he would always receive good feedback. And yeah, people always respected Josh. He made people smile. It’s just sad to see him go.”

Bell police detectives asked anyone with information to call them at (323) 585-1245, ext. 254.

— Wire reports

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