(Updated July 21, 2016 ) July 18, 2016 at approximately 6:30 pm on the 800 block of Sunjoy Drive. Hemet Police were dispatched to vehicle vs pedestrian hit and run call. When Officers arrived, they located a 17 year old male victim laying in the roadway. Life saving measures were initiated on scene before the victim was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
According to witnesses; there was a verbal altercation between the victim and the occupants of the vehicle involved. Information regarding the vehicle and two occupants were given to police who are now investigating this incident as a homicide.
Friends and family of the victim stated to Hemet Police Department officials that they witnessed the teenager walking his dog before being struck by the suspect vehicle just before 6:30 pm. Images taken by a surveillance camera belonging to the adjacent apartment complex. The images show a white SUV occupied by at least two individuals.
There was an argument between the occupants of the suspect vehicle and the teen before he was hit by the SUV that left the scene traveling at a high rate of speed. The nature of the argument is unclear as is the motive behind the attack. The victim was transported to a local hospital after first responders performed CPR on the teenager. The attempt to save the 17 year old’s life unfortunately were futile and he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The next day, friends and family of the victim placed candles, flowers and pictures of the teen at the intersection of Sunjoy Dr and Melissa Dr. and are still in disbelief over the 17 year old’s death. They are mourning the loss of a friend and family member everyone describes as being a kind and loving individual who was working hard to graduate school the upcoming year.
At the moment, the investigation is still ongoing. The suspect vehicle is suspected to be a white Mitsubishi Montero or a Ford Explorer. The identity of the suspects are still unknown, although Hemet Police Investigators have good leads on the killer and other occupants of the SUV.
Since the day of the horrible incident, numerous websites, news stations, newspapers and online posts have reported on the teen’s death. Some people have created crowdfunding pages to raise money for the family of the victim and on social media there has been an outcry from people who want the individual/s responsible to be caught and prosecuted; or worse.
The last few days of this week has been riddled with murders and other violent crimes in Hemet and surrounding areas. The community demands that something be done to fix the crime problem permeating the Hemet Valley; although it may be some time before we see any change happen. In the past three days there have been three murders, including the one reported on in this article. The other two involve a shooting on Alabaster Ave in Hemet and another on Araucana Street in Valle Vista.
We can only hope that in the future things change for the better in Hemet and in the surrounding communities. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim and I welcome the day those who are responsible for this evil act are caught and prosecuting according to the fullest extent of the law.
Press release from Hemet Police Department:
(UPDATE AS OF JULY 21, 2016)
The suspects responsible for the homicide of the 17 year old teenager have been arrested. They too were juveniles; the oldest being 19 and the youngest one who is 17 was the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed the victim.
The suspects were arrested on July 20, 2016 at approximately 7:30 pm at the 29000 block of Eucalyptus Ave in Moreno Valley. They were located with the same vehicle believed to have struck and killed the teenager on Sunjoy Drive in Hemet. The 19 year old was transported to Riverside County Jail with charges of murder, conspiracy and robbery. The 17 year old driver was transported to Riverside County Juvenile Hall and is facing the same charges.
A photo of the 19 year old has been made available, but the 17 year old driver’s photo has been withheld due to his age. Below is a press release from Hemet Police Department regarding this recent arrest: