Lifelong Friends Killed by Driver of Reported Stolen Truck During Police Chase

Childhood best friends Timothy Schultz, 49, and Christopher Teagardin, 47, were out to get tacos when they were killed after a 17-minute police chase ended in tragedy

Tim Schultz and Chris Teagardin
Tim Schultz and Chris Teagardin killed in car crash.

Two lifelong friends were tragically killed in Los Angeles Tuesday after a reportedly stolen vehicle being pursued by police crashed into their sedan.

The victims, Timothy Schultz, 49, and Christopher Teagardin, 47, were going to get tacos, KCAL News reported, and had known each other for more than 30 years, per ABC7.

"They were just fantastic," Stacy Spears told ABC7. She added that the victims' deaths were "devastating" and "senseless, senseless, senseless."

According to KCAL News, the two men were best friends since childhood. Schultz is survived by his 16-year-old daughter, while Teagardin owned a shop in Granada Hills and was a Little League coach. He is survived by his 18-year-old son and his mother, whom he cared for.

KTLA 5 reported that the police pursuit began around 7:50 p.m. local time following a report of a stolen truck at 7:35 p.m. local time. Los Angeles Police Department officers attempted to pull over the driver, later identified as Oscar Delacruz, 32, when he drove away.

Tragically, during the subsequent chase, the truck struck a silver Honda Civic containing Schultz and Teagardin in Panorama City, California multiple outlets reported.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene while the other died on the way to the hospital, LAPD Chief Alan Hamilton told reporters, per KCAL News.

After the crash, both Delacruz and a passenger in the truck fled on foot but were caught, with one suspect injured "during a use of force takedown" involving the use of a Taser, Hamilton told reporters Wednesday, per KCAL News.

A third person traveling in the truck, a woman, was also pulled from the wreckage and transported to a hospital in an unknown condition, authorities said, added ABC7.

"This is a very tragic incident," Hamilton told reporters after the incident, reported multiple outlets. "We try to conduct these instances where we go in 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 look at going to tracking mode 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."

Tim Schultz and Chris Teagardin
Christopher Teagardin. Facebook

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

ABC7 reported that Delacruz had been wanted on a felony warrant prior to the incident and was being held without bail.

"He's being charged with murder in regards to this matter, and we'll work with the district attorney's office on the further details of this case," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said about Delacruz, per ABC7.

"Sadly and tragically, two individuals — one, the driver who we later found to be wanted for a no-bail felony warrant — callously drove into an intersection at a high speed and T-boned two innocent motorists in a vehicle," Moore continued.

Related Articles