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Mother grateful for good Samaritan who led police to suspect in fatal Tacoma hit and run

Police say 32-year-old Kalolo Petelo hit and killed an 18-year-old early Sunday morning in the 4400 block of Portland Avenue.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma man killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver had the mind of a young child, according to his mother.

Matthew McIntire, 18, suffered from “extreme autism,” according to McIntire’s mother, Brandy Downey.

“I can’t tell him everything was going to be OK,” Downey said. “I’m never going to see him again.” 

According to Tacoma police detectives, 32-year-old Kalolo Petelo hit and killed McIntire early Sunday morning in the 4400 block of Portland Avenue.

"He left my son out there to die," Downey said. "He didn't deserve that."

Witnesses called police to say Petelo sped away from the crash. 

One witness followed Petelo, obtained his license plate number, and passed it onto police. Police said that lead to the arrest of Petelo. 

According to detectives, Petelo confessed to hitting something and told them, “Some [expletive] just crossed the road like out of nowhere.” 

Petelo entered not guilty pleas to several criminal charges Monday, including vehicular homicide and failure to remain at a crash scene. 

Police said Petelo smelled of alcohol and had “watery” eyes. Toxicology tests were conducted to see if Petelo was drunk at the time of the crash. 

According to court documents, he has two prior drunk driving arrests. 

Petelo is being held on $500,000 bail. 

McIntire’s mother was in court for Monday’s arraignment of Petelo. 

”I hope he rots in Hell. He can drown there,” Downey said. “I know that’s coming from anger but I’m never going to see my child again that I dedicated my whole like to make sure he was safe.” 

Downey is grateful for the good Samaritan who helped identify the driver police say killed her son. 

“I would love to meet the person that did that,” Downey said. 

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