Man killed in hit-and-run was intentionally struck, Richmond police say

A fatal hit-and-run in Richmond last week has now turned into a homicide investigation, as police said they found evidence to believe it was an intentional act.

The incident happened on March 21 around 10:10 p.m. in the area of South 8th Street and Hoffman Boulevard.

Police were called to the scene on a report of an unconscious man on the road. Officers arrived and pronounced him dead a short time later. 

"Officers determined that a victim had been hit by a vehicle however, were unable to locate any witnesses or involved parties," police said in a patrol activity report.

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In the course of the investigation, police said they came upon new evidence from surveillance videos that led them to conclude that the victim was intentionally struck.

On Tuesday, police released Nest Cam surveillance video of the vehicle seen in the moments before and after the hit-and-run. 

Police said the video does not capture the victim getting struck, but it showed the suspect's white van traveling in the eastbound direction. It goes out of the camera shot, and then about a minute later it's seen traveling westbound, back the way it came from. 

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The video also picked up "some unusual noises" before the vehicle returned to view, which investigators believed was the sounds made at the moment of impact.

On Thursday, police located the vehicle driven by the suspect, abandoned on the other side of town, investigators told KTVU. They described it as a 1990’s Dodge van.

Police have identified the victim as 33-year-old Raul Lopez Jr., of Richmond.

Anyone with information about this case was asked to contact Detective Mike Sagan with Richmond Police Department's homicide unit at 510-620-6622. People can also submit tips anonymously by calling 510-307-8177.