Two men suspected of beating, attempting to abduct and ultimately killing a 36-year-old Hemet resident were behind bars Wednesday.

Alberto Franco, 24, of Hemet and Christian Anselmo Gomez, 43, of Homeland were both arrested Tuesday following an investigation by the Hemet Police Department.

Franco was booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of murder, attempted kidnapping and attempted carjacking. Gomez was booked into the same facility on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted kidnapping and being in possession of a controlled substance.

He’s being held in lieu of $2 million bail, while Franco is being held on $1 million.

According to Hemet Police Lt. Nathan Miller, at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, the suspects confronted the victim, whose identity has not been released, in an alleyway in the 200 block of East Stetson Avenue.

Miller said the pair corralled and pummeled the man before he was able to break free and run to a nearby strip mall in an attempt to find cover outside a pizza parlor.

“The suspects chased the victim, cornered him … and then one of them shot the victim several times,” the lieutenant said.

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 to become disabled, according to Miller.

He said patrol officers converged on the location and initiated a search for the suspects, which ended in the predawn hours Tuesday, when both were located hiding on Coral Avenue, where they were taken into custody without further incident.

A possible motive for the deadly shooting has not been disclosed.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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