OAK PARK, Ill. -- A man attempting to stop a thief from taking his car was killed Sunday night after he fell from the side of the moving vehicle as the carjacker drove away.
Police say 24-year-old Christopher Florez had left the car running and unattended in the parking lot of a Jewel Osco near Roosevelt Rd. and Harlem Ave.
Florez's girlfriend Veronica Licea and her 6-year-old daughter were with him at the time. She said they were picking out a movie at a nearby Redbox when a man went for their car. She said Florez yelled and ran to confront the man, reaching into the car through the open window.
"He held onto the steering wheel and the guy took off, [not] thinking twice. Christopher was still stuck in the car outside of the door," she said.
Surveillance video captured the car as it sped down Roosevelt, Florez still clinging from the outside. Dragged nearly a half mile until he broke free, his body slammed onto the pavement. He died at the hospital three hours later.
For Veronica, it's heartbreak, questioning what she could have done differently while protecting her young daughter as well.
"He was everything to me," she said. "If I would've known what was going to happen I would've told him, 'let's just go home.'"
The car was recovered and Oak Park police have questioned a person of interest, but still say they're on the lookout for a suspect.
Witnesses described the carjacker as a black male, about 30 to 40 years old with a thin build and short braids, wearing a dark sweater. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police.
A GoFundMe page is raising money for Florez's family