Victorville self-proclaimed pastor allegedly hired hitmen to kill man dating his daughter

Tim Pulliam Image
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
I.E. pastor allegedly hired hitmen to kill man dating his daughter
The plot unraveled after the victim survived a shooting in Riverside. Police say the father of the victim's girlfriend paid the gunmen.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A self-proclaimed pastor in the Inland Empire is accused of hiring hitmen to kill the man dating his daughter in a shooting last year that the victim survived.

Investigators say Samuel Davalos Pasillas, 47, paid two men almost $40,000 to target the man involved with his daughter.

The victim was shot in Riverside in a drive-by on Oct. 21, 2023. He was struck by several bullets, but survived after driving himself to a nearby hospital.

Investigators say they later determined that the would-be killers had been hired by Pasillas, who did not approve of the man his daughter was dating.

The men allegedly conducted surveillance on the victim for weeks leading up to the shooting, and Pasillas also allegedly provided them details on their target's whereabouts.

"He actually provided information to these suspects that he hired," said Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback. "He paid them almost $40,000."

The two men then drove up to the victim, who was in his own car on Grove Community Drive in Riverside, and opened fire, wounding him.

Last week, Riverside police arrested Pasillas and one of the alleged hit men, Juan Manuel Cebreros, 55, of Long Beach. Detectives are seeking another man, Jesus Abel Felix Garcia, but his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Eyewitness News visited the Victorville church where Pasillas claimed to be a pastor. The church was a house belonging to Pastor Rafael Porras, who said Pasillas was not a pastor but a volunteer. Porras said he had no comment about Pasillas' arrest.

Pasillas and Cebreros pleaded not guilty during a joint arraignment Monday at the Riverside Hall of Justice and are slated to appear for a felony settlement conference on March 26.

Each man is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

City News Service contributed to this report.