Authorities are still seeking two suspects wanted for capital murder after they allegedly killed a 13-year-old boy and critically injured his mother in a hit-and-run crash on Tuesday.
Sources said Wednesday that inside the van the suspects were in, a gun, crowbar and other burglary tools, as well as lawn clippings, were found.
Officials said the pursuit leading to the hit-and-run began around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday when Highland Park officers saw a minivan run through a stop sign.
The officers chased the vehicle into Dallas because it showed up as being stolen. However, they backed off whenever they reached a residential area, police said.
Shortly afterward, the suspect vehicle crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of Monticello Avenue and Homer Street.
Ethan Vasquez was killed, and his mother, Sandy Vasquez, was taken to the hospital and is recovering from head and internal injuries. Sandy and Ethan are the wife and son of a Cedar Hill police sergeant.
The car the Vasquezes were in spun out, and in turn, hit another car at a stop sign. The driver in that second vehicle was not seriously injured.
After the crash, the two men in van reportedly took off running.
Sources say the driver of the stolen van likely smashed his head into the windshield during the crash, leaving a lengthy blood trail. Based on squad car video, police say the driver of the stolen van is likely male, but they're unable to determine his race or ethnicity.
Police canvassed the area on foot with dogs, but said they do not have a good description of the driver and they aren't sure if there were any passengers.
Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to contact police at 214-671-3661.
Additionally, Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment of the suspects. Tips can also be called in to 214-373-TIPS (8477).
Oak Farms Dairy is also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect or suspects in the crash.
Peggy Norris learned Tuesday that it was her blue Chrysler minivan that was in the crash that killed Ethan and injured Sandy. The van was stolen from a Northeast Dallas parking lot about three weeks ago while she spent the day at a casino.
"I just wish it wasn't mine; that it wasn't involved in something like that," said Norris.
Tuesday night, firefighters and paramedics who'd worked alongside Sgt. Vasquez went to the hospital where Sandy is to offer their condolences.
"This is an incredible tragedy. He suffered a horrible loss in his family, and we are his second family, fire and police officers alike, as well as any emergency personnel," said Traci Hemminger with the Cedar Hill Fire Department.
Ethan was a seventh grader at Travis Middle School. He's described as a sweet, fun-loving boy whose young life ended too soon, and he was the first Travis student to die in 14 years.
"I'm sorry to hear about the loss of a student, but I hope they catch the guys that did it," said Ramon Nelson, the father of a Travis Middle seventh grader. "It's a close-knit family. Everyone gets along together; parents, even."
A fund has been set up for the Vasquezes at City National Bank of Texas. To contribute, you can visit any CNB of Texas branch or mail checks to:
The Vasquez family fund
CNB of Texas
106 W. FM 1382
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
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