Palmdale, CA – A California teen who was sentenced to just a few months in a juvenile probation camp for mowing down a mother with a stolen car as she was walking with her eight-month-old son in a stroller in 2021 was found shot to death last week.
Sources close to the investigation said that 17-year-old Kristopher Baca had gone to a fast-food restaurant on Jan. 18 in an attempt to “get with a girl,” according to FOX News.
He was walking home alone in the 83600-block of 11th Street East when a vehicle pulled up alongside him, according to the source.
An argument ensued and someone inside the car ultimately opened fire on Baca before speeding away, FOX News reported.
Los Angeles County deputies found him dead at the scene.
Baca was already on probation for poisoning a high school girl’s drink when the then-15-year-old slammed into a woman and her child on a one-way backstreet in Venice on Aug. 6, 2021, FOX News reported.
He was behind the wheel of a stolen car at the time.
Security footage showed the young mother trying to push herself and her child up against a wall as the speeding car came barreling towards them.
She turned her body towards the car at the last minute in a futile apparent attempt to protect her son, but the force of the impact threw her into the air and violently toppled the stroller.
The woman immediately scrambled to her feet and rushed to her baby as Baca sped off down the road, the video showed.
Several witnesses chased after the fleeing teen, who was ultimately stopped when the driver of a large pickup truck slammed into him head-on.
THREAD (1/4) A 16 y/o hit & run driver in a stolen car who ran over a mom & child in Venice was sentenced on Friday to 5-7 months in juvie camp. LA DA @GeorgeGascon office tells me this was an “appropriate resolution”, but I’ve learned he has a prior criminal history. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/HupMw9KRFu
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) June 5, 2022
According to court records, Baca had been using drugs prior to the hit-and-run crash, FOX News reported.
Investigators said they also located marijuana inside the stolen car.
He was also driving without a license.
The woman and her baby survived the incident.
Baca later pleaded guilty to felony charges of assault and hit-and-run, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Despite his criminal history and the horrific circumstances of the crash, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s office helped Baca score a lenient sentence of just five to seven months in a juvenile probation camp, FOX News reported.
Gascon’s office declared that the camp was “an appropriate resolution” for the teen, according to the news outlet.
“George Gascon doesn’t value my life or the life of my child, or any other victim out there, and would rather reward the monsters like [the juvenile suspect] by demonstrating to them that their actions have no consequences,” the young mother said at the time, according to the New York Post.
Baca was sent to Camp Glenn Rickey in San Dimas after his sentencing in June of 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported.
By September, he was back in court asking the judge to release him from his already-light sentence, according to FOX News.
The victim, Rachel, said Gascon’s office didn’t even bother to tell her about the hearing.
“I remain incredibly disappointed with the justice system in LA, but I am unsurprised to learn that I am yet again being denied my rights as a victim to participate and use my voice in the judicial process,” she told FOX News at the time. “F–k George Gascon.”
The judge ultimately denied Baca’s request for early release.
The exact date of Baca’s release from the probation camp is unclear, but a law enforcement official said he was disciplined for getting into a fight at the facility as recently as October of 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Rachel said she and her family ultimately left Los Angeles to escape the city’s soft-on-crime policies, according to FOX News.
She said she felt both relief and sadness when she learned of Baca’s death.
“The universe delivered the justice we weren’t given in court, but a much harsher punishment than he’d have been dealt in a court of law,” Rachel told FOX News. “I think I feel shorted — by the system because they didn’t hold him accountable and sad, not for him, but for his mom a little, because if George Gascon actually did his job, this kid would still be alive in jail.”
A fundraising campaign launched by Baca’s mother after his murder has raised more than $7,200 so far.