Murder and other felony charges were filed Thursday against two men accused of killing a 36-year-old Hemet resident during a botched kidnapping.
Alberto Franco, 24, of Hemet and Christian Anselmo Gomez, 43, of Homeland were both arrested Tuesday following an investigation by the Hemet Police Department.
Along with murder, both defendants are charged with assault resulting in great bodily injury and attempted kidnapping, with a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation. Franco is additionally charged with attempted carjacking.
They’re each being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and are slated to make a joint initial court appearance at the Banning Justice Center on Friday.
The defendants allegedly confronted the victim, whose identity has not been released, in an alleyway in the 200 block of East Stetson Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Hemet police Lt. Nathan Miller alleged that the pair corralled and pummeled the man before he was able to break free, running to a nearby strip mall, where he sought safety outside a pizza parlor.
“The suspects chased the victim, cornered him … and then one of them shot the victim several times,” the lieutenant alleged.
As witnesses called 911, Franco and Gomez allegedly jumped into a white SUV and sped away. However, moments later, the vehicle slammed into a brick feature outside a residence in the 1400 block of South Palm Avenue, causing the SUV’s engine to stall, according to Miller.
The defendants ran away southbound and patrol officers converged on the location and initiated a search for the duo, which ended in the predawn hours Tuesday, when both were found hiding on Coral Avenue and taken into custody, he said.
A possible motive for the deadly shooting has not been disclosed.
Neither man has documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
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