Deadly Hemet shooting leads to arrest of local man – Victim, 35, ID’d

HEMET, Calif., — Authorities say a shooting in an unincorporated part of Hemet led to the death of one man and arrest of another Tuesday, Nov. 9.

The fatal early morning shooting happened in a residential neighborhood in the 26400 block of Columbia Street, between Mayberry and E. Whittier avenues, according to officials.


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Deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to the scene shortly before 6 a.m. after receiving reports of an assault with a deadly weapon, Riverside Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit Sergeant Ben Ramirez has since said of the murder and subsequent arrest.

When deputies arrived they found a man suffering from a single gunshot wound in front of a private residence. Deputies immediately began rendering medical aid to the victim, who was rushed to an area hospital and immediately underwent emergency surgery. Despite extensive life-saving measures, the man later succumbed to his injury and passed away.

The victim has since been identified as Gabriel Lozano, 35, of Hemet.

Hemet resident Kelvin Smith was arrested after allegedly shooting another Hemet man in a residential neighborhood early Tuesday morning, Nov. 9. RSO booking photo

Deputies secured the area as a crime scene and investigators from the Hemet Station and Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit were summoned to the scene to assume the investigation.

As their investigation continued throughout the day and into the evening, investigators developed leads and gathered information that ultimately led them to identifying Kelvin Clyde Smith, 29, of Hemet, as the suspected gunman and began searching for the man.

At around 6 p.m., members of the Sheriff’s Gang Impact Team located and arrested Smith in the 1200 block of N. State Street, about three miles from where the fatal shooting occurred.

After his arrest last night, Smith was interviewed by investigators and was booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta this morning on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.

Citing the early and ongoing nature of the investigation, Ramirez declined to provide any further information as to what may have led to the shooting or preceded the fatal encounter.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Central Homicide Investigator Mendoza at (951) 955-2777 or Hemet Station Investigator Martinez at (951) 791-3400. Callers can refer to incident file number D213130005 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more details become available.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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.