Riverside gang bust leads to arrest of 4 suspects in shooting death of Moreno Valley mechanic

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Four gang members have been arrested for the murder of an innocent man in the Riverside neighborhood of Casa-Blanca following a large-scale gang bust.

Riverside police say there has been a string of violence over the last year in the neighborhood, specifically along El Sol Way, which was a focal point of the bust. That's where William Calderon was gunned down on Sept. 1 while he was driving down the street.

The area is known for gang activity, but police say 37-year-old Calderon from Moreno Valley was a neighborhood mechanic, with no indication of being a gang member.

"We later learned that the shooter was told to target the next vehicle driving down the street that was someone they didn't know," said Lt. Charles Payne at a press conference Friday. "It literally could've been anyone in our community, it could've been anybody in this room that just had the rotten luck to drive down their street that night."

Calderon's family attended the press conference as authorities announced the arrests, but did not speak.

Authorities say four men taken in during the gang bust, including Edward Smith, are responsible for his death.

The fatal shooting is just one instance of crime stemming from gang violence in the area, which started with a fight in the street last January.

"An uninvolved neighbor nearby shouted from her house to break up the fight and in response, they shot her repeatedly," Payne said.

That woman survived but a month later, a rival gang member was beaten to death on the same street.

That was followed by Calderon's death in September.

During their investigation, police say they struggled with unwillingness from the community to come forward with information out of fear of gang retaliation.

More than a dozen weapons are off the streets following the gang raid, Payne said, but he said the most important statistics are ones that can't be quantified.

"Things like how many residents can enjoy their neighborhood now without being in fear of being harmed or killed. How many kids can walk home from school now without being harmed, without being hurt, without their parents being in fear for their safety."
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