Army veteran shot dead while watering his lawn

RIVERSIDE, CA – A man presently facing robbery charges has been arrested in connection to the drive-by murder of a 68-year-old Riverside man last month, according to Riverside Police Department. The motive behind the act remains unclear, stated Officer Ryan Railsback, a police department spokesman.

The suspect, 29-year-old Gabriel Molina of Riverside, was apprehended on grounds of a fatal shooting accusation against local resident Michael Rangel. Molina was found possessing a firearm during his arrest, as per the police department’s statement.

Mark Anthony Valdez, a 28-year-old Riverside man, was also arrested under suspicion of involvement. His charges include accessory to murder and substance possession with a firearm. Valdez was released after posting bail on November 13.

Molina was previously arrested for allegedly conducting numerous robberies in the Riverside and Moreno Valley areas from June to December of 2022. The police statement noted that he was out on bail amounting to $250,000 for these crimes at the time of the murder. In these previous robberies, Molina reportedly used a handgun and demanded cash from fast-food restaurants. Valdez, however, is not suspected of involvement in these cases.

In another crime after being out on bail, Molina was involved in a car crash into a business. He and another passenger sustained injuries for which they were treated at a hospital. A weapon was found at the scene, and the situation led to out-of-custody charges due to Molina’s hospital stay.

Molina is alleged to have fatally shot Rangel, a retired electronics technician and Army veteran, while Rangel was in his yard on October 28. The victim was rushed to the hospital for medical treatment. However, he ultimately passed away from his injury shortly after. Molina’s bail for the murder case is currently set at $1 million.

Additional information on the incidents – shooting or arrests – is requested by authorities. Riverside detectives can be contacted for tips.