Teen who mowed down mother, infant shot during street altercation after serving light sentence

"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," the mother said.

A 17-year-old who plowed a stolen car into a mother and her infant while driving the wrong way down a one-way street was found murdered in Palmdale, California, this week.

Kristopher Baca, whose name had been withheld prior to this death due to his age, pleaded guilty to the hit-and-run last year, but received only a few months of diversionary camp as punishment. Baca was shot and killed on Wednesday after an altercation with an unknown suspect who was in a car and stopped to speak to Baca, Fox News reports.

Baca was found dead in a Palmdale driveway and his death was then confirmed on Friday by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office, but an examination is yet to come.

He was allegedly at a fast food restaurant earlier in the evening trying to "get with a girl," according to investigators. Baca then began walking home along, at which point a car pulled up next to him. After a brief argument broke out, someone in the vehicle shot at the teen before speeding away.

The young mother and baby survived the 2021 hit-and-run, but the family moved out of Los Angeles after the incident, citing the city's soft-on-crime policies as her reason.

"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," the mother, who has asked to be identified only as Rachel, told Fox News.

The case caused national uproar last year due to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon's office seeking such a minor sentence of five to seven months in juvenile probation camp. 

He told Fox News at the time that the sentence, allegedly described as "less severe than military school but harsher than summer camp," was "an appropriate resolution,"

At the time of the hit-and-run, Baca was already on felony probation for poisoning a high school girl's drink.

The August 6, 2021, incident, which was captured on surveillance camera, shows the teen, who was 15 at the time, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, when he plows the stolen vehicle into the woman walking with her infant son in a stroller.

After immediately accelerating away from the scene, a pickup truck pulled in front of the car and slammed into it to stop him from escaping.

Police found marijuana in the car and drugs in the teen's system. 

Baca had asked the court for an early release from his light punishment.

At the time of the sentencing, Rachel was furious to learn that the teen's criminal history will be wiped once he turns 18, telling Fox News that "DA Gascon is telling him and every other thug in LA County that it doesn’t matter if you try to murder people."

After learning of the teen's death, Rachel's anger with Gascon has not waned much.

"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," Rachel said.

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