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Police seek suspect in hit-and-run that killed man, 3-year-old daughter

Authorities sought the public’s help Wednesday to locate a 24-year-old man suspected of a hit-and-run in Long Beach that killed a 42-year-old man and his 3-year-old daughter.

Octavio Montano was allegedly driving a 2014 Ram 1500 pickup truck northbound on Rose Avenue, near East Artesia Boulevard, about 10 p.m. on Mar. 1 when the truck left the roadway, collided with an apartment building and killed two of the occupants inside, the Long Beach Police Department reported.

Montano allegedly fled the scene on foot following the collision.

Jose Palacios Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene, while his daughter Samantha Palacios was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

Montano was described as a Hispanic man who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and unspecified tattoos on his right forearm.

Octavio Montano may have been drunk when he allegedly rammed his truck into an apartment building killing a man and toddler inside one of the units, according to area residents quoted in media reports. | Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Police Department

Neighbors told KTLA5 they believe the suspect had been at a local bar before the crash.

“There is nothing but problems at this bar,” Renette Mazza, president of the Hamilton Neighborhood Association, told the station.

“The neighborhood has outgrown this bar. Nobody from this neighborhood comes here. They serve people until they can’t walk. They leave the bar drunk, and then they go into our neighborhood. Hit-and-runs happen all the time here. And now we have a family that died.”

Anyone with information on Montano’s whereabouts was asked to call LBPD Detective Kevin Johansen at 562-570-7355. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.

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