Shocking videos of second murder in two days rock Hemet residents
UPDATED: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 8:30 a.m., With additional details from Hemet PD.
HEMET, Calif. — Authorities say two men have been arrested after the shooting death of a 36-year-old Perris man outside a popular Hemet restaurant early Monday evening, Nov. 2.
Monday’s fatal shooting followed another deadly incident Sunday morning, which happened outside another restaurant about a mile and a half away, and left a 29-year-old man dead. Officials have since said the two shootings were unrelated.
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The most recent shooting, which was captured on at least two terrified bystander’s cellular phones and widely circulated on social media, happened in front of Milanos Pizza & Italian Restaurant in the 200 block of E. Stetson Ave.
The short videos (both of which can be viewed below) showed two men – including one armed with what appeared to be an assault-type rifle – chasing a third man around an SUV parked in front of the restaurant. As the 24-second video continues, the armed assailant can be seen firing one round, striking the victim and knocking him to the ground.
Just before that video abruptly ended and as the victim lay on the ground crying out in pain, the gunman calmly walked up to him and fired at least a six more rounds from point-blank range, while standing directly above the victim.
Another short video, which did not capture the men chasing the victim or the initial shots fired, started as the gunman stood over the victim and showed the rifle-wielding man firing about a dozen more rounds into the victim as he lay dying in the parking lot.
Officers work at the scene of a shooting that killed a 36-year-old Perris man, whose name has not yet been released. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo
City of Hemet police officers were dispatched to the area around 6:25 p.m., after receiving multiple reports of a beaten and bloodied man being chased through the parking lot by two men; one of whom was armed with a rifle, Hemet Police Lt. Nate Miller later said of the deadly incident.
While officers were racing to the area, another caller reported hearing multiple gunshots and seeing the chased man fall to the ground.
Witnesses then reported seeing the two suspects get into a white SUV and flee from the area.
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“Upon arrival, officers found a … man on the ground with gunshot wounds,” Miller described; adding, “Unfortunately, the victim died at the scene from these wounds.”
Based on the reports of a possible active shooter, officers from around the city swarmed onto the scene. Within minutes, they had requested assistance from the city’s SWAT team, as well as the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; at which time a sheriff’s helicopters was dispatched to the area to assist in searching for the gunmen.
Soon, the Milano’s parking lot and area streets were overflowing with a mobile command center and other official vehicles, while an armored tactical rescue vehicle with SWAT members and a police K-9 began searching the area for the suspects.
Blood from a man who was fatally shot outside a popular Hemet restaurant Monday night could be seen covering a vehicle two men fled in after the deadly shooting. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo
Within minutes, officers received word that as the two suspects were fleeing the area the driver lost control of the SUV and plowed into a brick mailbox in the 1400 block of S Palm Ave, barely one mile from where the fatal shooting occurred.
The crash disabled the vehicle and subsequent 911 callers reported seeing two men, including one still armed with the rifle, running through yards and jumping over fences, in an attempt to flee the area.
Based on the new information, countless officials from multiple agencies converged on the neighborhood and began an intensive manhunt.
While the the Sheriff’s STAR-9 airship assisted with the search from overhead and a police K-9 tracked the suspects from the ground, Hemet-based social media pages exploded with first-hand accounts and videos of patrol officers and heavily armed SWAT members searching door to door and through backyards in the neighborhood where the suspects’ vehicle crashed.
Although one of the suspects was apprehended about twenty minutes after the shooting was reported, the other managed to elude authorities for about another hour and a half before he too was captured. Official sources indicate both men were arrested on Coral Ave., about a quarter mile from where they crashed their SUV.
A police K-9 eventually located the firearm believed to have been used in the deadly shooting, along with other evidence related to the fatal encounter, according to Hemet Police Lt. Nate Miller. John Strangis/ENMedia Productions photo
Miller has since reported, “Investigators learned the victim was seen being punched and hit by the two men in a nearby alley a few minutes prior to the initial calls to 911.”
“At some point, the victim got away from his attackers and made his way to a shopping / restaurant center,” Miller continued; adding, “The two men chased the victim, cornered him near a pizza restaurant, and then one of the suspects shot the victim several times.”
As the overnight-long murder investigation was underway and continued into the next day, Milano employees could be seen bringing food and drinks to officials working at the scene and later posted information about the incident on social media.
“We are sorry to share that Milano’s is closed today because of a tragic incident that took place nearby last night,” Milano’s employees explained in their post.
“We’ll be praying for those involved and the families of those affected,” the post continued; while thanking the community for their understanding and support.
Although the victim’s name has not yet been released, a preliminary coroner’s release, which indicated the victim’s name was being withheld at the request of Hemet PD investigators, reported that the victim was declared deceased at 6:30 p.m.
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Hemet PD this morning identified the two men as Christian Anselmo Gomez, 43, of Homeland and Alberto Franco, 24, of Hemet.
Officials have not specified if there was a known motive for the shooting or what may have led to the deadly incident.
After their arrests, both alleged suspects were transported to Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, where they were booked on multiple felonies; including murder with a firearm, attempted kidnapping while armed, assault with deadly weapon, attempted carjacking, using a firearm during the commission of a felony and felonious discharge of a firearm, as well as other charges.
Christian Anselmo Gomez, 43, of Homeland (L) and Alberto Franco, 24, of Hemet (R) have been arrested and charged in the shooting death of a man in Hemet Monday night. RSO booking photos
Online jail records indicate both men remain in custody; with Gomez held in lieu of $2,075,000 bail while Franco’s bail has been set $1,075,000.
“There is no evidence to indicate this homicide is related to another shooting case that occurred yesterday in the 200 block of W Florida Ave.,” Miller later said; adding, “Detectives from the Hemet Police Department are investigating this case as a homicide and would like to talk to anyone who was in the area at that time.”
Anyone with additional information related to this investigation, who witnessed all or a portion of this incident, or who captured video footage of this murder is encouraged to immediately contact Hemet Police Sgt. Gomez at 951-765-2396. Callers can refer to incident file number 20-8293 and can remain anonymous.
Click any image to open full-size gallery.
WARNING – The following two videos, the origin of the first which is unknown and the second which was filmed by Hemet News, are extremely graphic and show the fatal shooting of a man outside a Hemet restaurant. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
Although this video has been widely shared by many people on social media, its origin is unknown.
Eddie George/Hemet News photos and video above.
John Strangis/En Media Productions video above.
Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photos above, video below.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.