DES MOINES, Iowa -- One teen is dead and another is in critical condition after police say they stole a car and crashed it Monday night.
Police say it was a series of bad decision that ended with 16 year-old Emilio Esteban Garcia dead and an unnamed 17 year-old in critical condition.
“Started about 8:11 p.m. with this car being reported stolen on Jefferson avenue. Within about 35 minutes we had a report of gunfire in a neighborhood on the 4100 block of Rosehedge,” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Paul Parizek.
Police say the two teenagers had taken the stolen car to Rosehedge and began rummaging through another car.
“It looked like they were moving property out of a car into another one and for some reason they just started shooting bullets into this car,” said Parizek.
Police say the two left the area quickly. They had taken off before an officer responding to the gunfire could stop them. That's when another officer responding to the gunfire came upon a violent wreck nearby at the intersection of 30th and Jefferson. According to police, witnesses to the crash estimated the car moving between 90 and 100 miles per hour before it clipped a U.S. Postal Service van and slammed into a group of trees. The driver of the van, miraculously, was not hurt.
“There was no way for him to estimate that that car was coming at him, who knows if he even saw it at those speeds, he's very fortunate that he was not injured,” said Parizek.
Emilio Garcia was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, his family released a statement reading:
“They are good kids, just misunderstood, both with families who are very devastated and our family is hoping and praying for the best. Emilio will be truly missed but never forgotten”
Police say the situation is sad all the way around.
“We're looking right now at the impact of the community. We've got people who have their car shot up and had their property stolen both which makes them feel violated in and of themselves, but then we lost a 16 year-old kid. It's heartbreaking,” said Parizek.
Police say the initial car theft and the car the two targeted appear to be random.