Police release video of car connected to fatal Cal Heights stabbing

Long Beach police say this car, a white Mazda 3, hit a pedestrian in California Heights before the driver got out and stabbed him. Photo courtesy Long Beach police.

Long Beach police have released video footage of a car that hit a pedestrian before the driver got out and stabbed the man to death in California Heights, according to authorities.

Police said they need help finding the white Mazda 3 hatchback that hit the victim on Orange Avenue just north of Wardlow Road. Police said the car is a recent model between 2011 and 2014. It was missing a bumper before the crash, and it may have damage to its passenger-side mirror from the impact.

Police said the car is visible from four different angles in the video. It’s in the center of the frame at 00:07, 00:14, 00:27 and 00:34.

The car hit 51-year-old David Gross as he was crossing the street on the night of July 11, authorities previously said.

Gross was a “gentle giant” who lived on Orange Avenue, yards from where he was killed, according to neighbors, who said Gross sometimes cut across Orange to visit the liquor store across the street.

A memorial for David Gross, who was stabbed to death near Orange Avenue and Wardlow Road on July 11, 2018. Photo by Jeremiah Dobruck.

Police said they don’t think the driver knew Gross, but after the crash, the two got into an altercation and the driver stabbed Gross before fleeing in the car.

Authorities asked anyone who recognizes the car to call detectives Todd Johnson or Don Collier at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be left at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.