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Michael Rangel, 68, was shot to death on Oct. 28, 2023. (Courtesy of Cynthia Rangel)
Michael Rangel, 68, was shot to death on Oct. 28, 2023. (Courtesy of Cynthia Rangel)

A man already facing robbery charges has been arrested on suspicion of killing a 68-year-old man in his yard in a drive-by shooting in Riverside last month, the Riverside Police Department announced Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Police don’t know the motive for the shooting, said Officer Ryan Railsback, a Riverside Police Department spokesman.

On Nov. 7, Gabriel Molina, a 29-year-old from Riverside, was arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing Michael Rangel, a Riverside resident. Molina was found with a firearm at the time of his arrest, the Police Department said in a statement.

Additionally, RPD announced the arrest of Mark Anthony Valdez, a 28-year-old man from Riverside, on suspicion of accessory to murder and possession of a controlled substance with a firearm.

Valdez was released after posting $10,000 bail on Monday, Nov. 13.

Molina had previously been arrested on suspicion of committing a series of robberies in Riverside and Moreno Valley from June 2022 to December 2022, Wednesday’s statement said.

“Gabriel Molina is a convicted felon who was out on $250,000 bail for a series of fast-food restaurant armed robberies that occurred between June and December of 2022 in Riverside and Moreno Valley,” Wednesday’s statement said.

In these robberies, the suspect used a handgun and demanded money from the cash registers and safes of Del Taco restaurants and Baker’s fast food restaurants. Authorities do not suspect Valdez was involved in the robberies, Railsback said.

On Jan. 27, authorities arrested Molina at the 24000 block of Myers Avenue in Moreno Valley on suspicion of the robberies. Molina later posted bail of $250,000 on Feb. 7 despite authorities’ attempt to raise the bail, court records show.

While out on bail on Oct. 16, Railsback said Molina crashed into a business on the 9500 block of Magnolia in Riverside. He and a passenger sustained injuries and were treated at a local hospital. He was found with a weapon at the crash site.

“Charges were filed out of custody due to injuries he sustained that required he be admitted into the hospital,” Railsback said.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, at around 3:26 p.m., Michael Rangel, a retired electronics technician and Army veteran, was watering the lawn at his home on the 8500 block of Harmony Lane when Molina allegedly fired gunshots in a passing vehicle and struck Rangel, Wednesday’s statement said.

Rangel was transported to a local hospital, but he succumbed to his injury a short time later. Molina is now being held on $1 million bail in the case of Rangel’s death.

Anyone with additional information regarding the shooting and arrests is urged to contact Detective Stanley Hua at (951) 353-7135 or or Detective William McGuigan at (951) 353-7103 or