Riverside, California – A California man has been arrested and charged with the murder of a U.S. Army veteran in Riverside on Oct 28. Gabriel Molina, a convicted felon with a history of violent crimes, is accused of fatally shooting the victim in his front yard from a passing vehicle. He was arrested this week, and authorities believe the shooting is gang-related. Molina was apprehended along with another suspect, and both men are now in custody.
According to the police, the investigation into the shooting led them to identify Molina, a 29-year-old resident of Riverside, as the primary suspect. He was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center. Molina is currently being held on a $1 million bond. The other suspect, whose name has not been disclosed, was also arrested but subsequently released on $10,000 bond.
Molina’s criminal record is far from clean. Police revealed that he was out on bail for a series of armed robberies at fast food restaurants that occurred between June and December of 2022. During each robbery, Molina allegedly took cash from the register, locked or barricaded the employees in a back office, and stole one of their cars as a getaway vehicle. He is accused of targeting at least eight establishments.
While out on bail, Molina evaded the police at high speed and crashed his vehicle into a business, causing serious injuries to his passenger. He was illegally in possession of a firearm at the time. Molina fled a local hospital where he was being treated, eluding authorities once again.
The shooting victim, identified as U.S. Army veteran Michael Rangel, was captured on surveillance footage out front of his home. Molina, believed to be the shooter, can be seen opening the driver’s side door and opening fire. The motive for the shooting has not been disclosed, but authorities believe it to be related to gang activity.
The investigation is ongoing, and detectives from various units within the Riverside Police Department are working together to gather evidence and build a solid case against Molina.
As more details unfold, law enforcement officials are striving to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The police have not released any additional information regarding potential accomplices or their ongoing efforts to dismantle the gang believed to be behind the violence.