Two suspects were arrested after a Riverside grandfather was shot and killed on his front lawn.
The men were identified as Gabriel Molina, 29, and Mark Anthony Valdez, 28, according to the Riverside Police Department.
The shooting happened on Oct. 28 in broad daylight when Michael Rangel, 68, and his family had just returned home from lunch.
Rangel decided to step out and water the front lawn of his home on the 8500 block of Harmony Lane around 3:26 p.m. when suddenly, multiple gunshots were fired from a passing vehicle.
Officers responded to the home where Rangel was found unconscious. He was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries, police said.
The victim’s garage door and front door were left riddled with bullet holes and his loved ones believed the suspects used a high-powered rifle during the shooting.
Over the next few weeks, investigators identified the suspected gunman as Molina. He was located and arrested on murder charges. The second suspect, Valdez, was arrested for accessory to murder.
Investigators discovered Molina is a convicted felon who was out on bail during the drive-by shooting. He was out on $250,000 bail for a series of armed robberies targeting fast-food restaurants across Riverside and Moreno Valley from June through December 2022.
Some of Molina’s previous alleged robberies include incidents at Baker’s and Del Taco restaurants.
In each instance, Molina allegedly walked in while armed and demanded money from the register. He would force all employees into a back room where he would barricade them, police said. He would then take an employee’s car keys to drive away in their car with the stolen cash, police said.
While Molina was out on bail, he also led officers on a high-speed pursuit and crashed into a business. The passenger inside his car was seriously injured and Molina was found in illegal possession of a firearm.
Molina was booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center and is being held on $1 million dollars bail. Valdez was also booked but was later released on $10,000 bail.
The victim’s family remains devastated and they still have so many unanswered questions including why someone would target Rangel in this way.
Rangel was a lifelong Riverside resident and a Vietnam-era army veteran who was retired. He is a father to four children and nine grandchildren and loved nothing more than his family and his faith, his loved ones said.
The investigation remains ongoing and no further details were released.
Anyone with information on the case can contact Detective Stanley Hua at 951-353-7135 or SHua@RiversideCA.gov or Detective William McGuigan at 951-353-7103 or WMcGuigan@RiversideCA.gov. Anonymous tips can be emailed to RPDTips@RiversideCA.gov.