Two gang members arrested in killing of 53-year-old man, says Fresno police chief
Two Bulldog gang members in Fresno were arrested Thursday in connection to an “unprovoked” killing of a grandfather in front of his grandson, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
Dyer identified the suspects as Andrew Guillen, 19, and John Chavez, 23.
Both were arrested and charged with murder in the April 2018 killing of 53-year-old Alejo Lara Armenta near Jensen Avenue and Ceder Avenue. Guillen and Chavez also face gang enhancements.
“These are two brutal, callous individuals who killed a 53-year-old man, who left behind a family, children, a 4-year-old grandson who had to witness the murder of his grandfather,” Dyer said.
“These individuals again, are two very callous and cold-hearted people.”
Dyer said Armenta was a well-liked mechanic who fixed bicycles for the children in his neighborhood and was known in the community as someone appreciated by many.
On April 21, Fresno police received multiple calls of a shooting victim. Officers arrived at the scene and found Armenta with gunshot wounds on his upper torso and head.
Detectives determined two weapons were used in the killing.
“They were also able to determine, based on evidence, that the suspects were in close proximity to the victim when they fired,” Dyer said.
Detectives learned that prior to the shooting, two women and two children, related to the victim, had walked down to the neighborhood store. There, they were allegedly confronted by the two gang members who proceeded to intimidate them.
The two women and the two children walked back to their house, but both suspects followed them slowly in a vehicle, Dyer said. The suspects left, but returned shortly after, turned off the lights of the car and parked in front of the residence in the middle of the street.
Dyer said both suspects got out of the car and walked toward the house, where Armenta was in the driveway, with his 4-year-old grandson next to him.
Police believe Guillen and Chavez shot the victim multiple times at close range, for unknown reasons, Dyer said.
“Fortunately, those bullets missed the 4-year-old grandson, who was standing nearby,” he said.
The suspects fled, but based on evidence at the scene and through search warrants, police arrested Guillen and Chavez.
While both suspects were in a holding cell at the Fresno Police headquarters, Guillen and Chavez violently beat another suspect who was arrested on a separate case.
Officers stopped the attack and the victim in that case was treated at the hospital.
Dyer said Guillen and Chavez both have “an extensive violent criminal history and violent history, including robbery, as well as possession of firearms.”