A 94-year-old man died Thursday after being carjacked and suffering a heart attack, according to Daytona Beach police.
Police said witnesses spotted the man, identified as Vittario Vecchiarelli, lying on the ground in the 300 block of Woodland Avenue and saw his car, a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier, leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. The car was found abandoned just before midnight, but the carjacker remains on the loose.
Daytona police said Vecchiarelli fell victim when he stepped out of his car to grab his mail.
"We think a silver, wide-bodied pickup truck pulls up, a man jumps out, gets in the driver's seat and steals the victim's car," said Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.
Witnesses tried to help Vecchiarelli back to his home after the incident. He was eventually taken to Halifax Hospital, where he died, according to police.
It is believed that Vecchiarelli may have run after his vehicle when the carjacker drove off, causing him to have a heart attack, according to police.
Joseph Ramsey told Local 6 how he tried to help save the life of Vecchiarelli, the neighbor he never knew.
"I looked and I saw him get up and fall, and so I ran over to him with another neighbor," said Ramsey. "I got him a lawn chair and sat him down on his front porch and was asking if he was hurt in any way, and suddenly he got that thousand-mile stare. He started puffing and I knew this didn't look good."
Chitwood said whoever is responsible will pay.
"Clearly we have a bunch of animals in our community that like to drive around and target elderly victims," said Chitwood. "It's felony murder in my opinion. In the process of committing a felony, the victim died."
Neighbors said Vecchiarelli lived alone and loved playing the piano inside his home. Police said he leaves behind an older sister.
Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call police.
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