Police release surveillance tape of persons of interest in fatal teen hit and runPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX - Police have more questions than answers in the death of a 15-year-old who might have been deliberately pushed into oncoming traffic and they're turning to the public for help.
It happened at about 6:30 Tuesday evening at 35th and Southern avenues.
According to investigators, the teen was involved in some kind of altercation with at least two other people. The victim, who police have identified as Francisco Elias, tried to run. The other people reportedly chased him and he fell -- or was pushed -- into the street.
Elias was hit by three vehicles, two of which left the scene, said Det. James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department. The driver of the third vehicle stopped and tried to help but it was too late.
Elias was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police spent the night canvassing the neighborhood, but so far don't have much to go on. That's why they're asking the public for help identifying those involved in the initial altercation and the drivers of the first two vehicles that hit Elias.
According to witnesses, two black males between the ages of 14 and 18 were seen chasing Elias and might have pushed him into traffic. Both of those teens were wearing dark clothing.
If detectives determine that Elias was deliberately pushed into the street, the case could become a murder investigation.
Anyone with information about what happened to Elias Tuesday night should call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.