The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of 20-year-old Hieu Hoang in connection to the Thursday shooting of two brothers along a Sacramento County street, the department said Friday afternoon.
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office listed Daniel Murti, 19, and Sergio Murti, 15, as the victims felled by gunfire about noon in the parking lot of a strip mall on Fruitridge Road.
Hoang was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of murder at 12:20 p.m. Friday after a sheriff’s detective located him in the passenger seat of a car during a vehicle stop in south Sacramento, according to jail inmate logs and a department news release. A second suspect is still being sought by deputies in connection to the shooting and is described as a Latino man between age 18 and 22 and approximately 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall.
The double homicide occurred in the 5200 block of Fruitridge Road, near Stockton Boulevard. Witnesses reported hearing two volleys of gunfire.
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One of the brothers was shot outside the South Area Market and the second was shot in an adjacent parking lot, said Sgt. Tony Turnbull, sheriff’s spokesman. The bodies were found just a few feet apart.
Turnbull said the suspects fled, heading east on Fruitridge Road in a light-colored sport-utility vehicle. Turnbull characterized the killings as extremely brazen in that they occurred during the day at a busy commercial district.
Josephine Hernandez, the teens’ grandmother, said Daniel was known by his middle name, Robert. Hernandez said she found out about the shootings after receiving a call from Robert’s girlfriend Thursday afternoon.
“I couldn’t make out what she was saying,” Hernandez said. “I went in my car, and went that way, and it was all taped off.”
Hernandez said the teens had grown up together in Sacramento and most recently lived with relatives on Nina Way, a few blocks from where they were shot. That day, the two decided to walk to the store together instead of getting a ride from a family member, she said.
The older sibling, Robert, was expecting a child with his girlfriend. The family had celebrated a baby shower days before the 19-year-old was shot. The younger sibling, Sergio, was hoping to get a job as soon as he turned 16. Both enjoyed football and shared a close bond, Hernandez said.
“They were funny,” Hernandez said. “They didn’t like to be out here in the streets too much because of all the stuff going on. They mostly stuck together as brothers.”
Maria Lopez, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento City Unified School District, said Sergio was a student Hiram W. Johnson High School until he left in mid-February. Lopez said the school received a request for his records from Community Collaborative Charter School, which has a site in McClellan Park, following his departure.
The charter school did not return a request for information regarding Sergio’s enrollment status by Friday afternoon.
The Sheriff’s Department said homicide detectives were still looking for a motive behind the shooting. Sacramento County Superior Court records show no previous cases for Hoang, who is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, jail logs show.
Friends and family members gathered Friday evening for a vigil at Mae Fong Park, down the street from Hiram Johnson High School. The words “RIP Murti” were spelled out in small tea-light candles on the ground in front of the park pavilion and against a backdrop of photos of the Murti brothers.
Friends of the brothers organized the vigil. Many said they had known Sergio at Will C. Wood Middle School. They described him as full of fun and always looking to cheer people up when they were down.
“He would see me walking in the hall and he would say, ‘Lina, show me that big beautiful smile,’ ” said Lina Quade, a junior at Hiram Johnson High who helped organize the vigil. “He was changing his life around. He was getting good grades.”
Gary Mcafee, a junior at Hiram Johnson, said, “Sergio was like my brother. He was a cool guy to hang out with … He wasn’t in gangs.”
Ray Green, program director with the Roberts Family Development Center and a member of This is Pentecost Fellowship Ministries on 47th Avenue, said he came to offer support for young people caring for young people. He led the group in prayer, giving thanks for “the community You brought together in spite of the circumstances.”
The brothers were the nephews of Will Murti, the 36-year-old man who was shot outside of a midtown bar last July just before 2 a.m., said Angie Morales, Will Murti’s first cousin.
Morales said that though she did not know much about Murti’s young nephews because they were from the 36-year-old’s paternal side of the family, the shooting of the two teens was on her and other relatives’ minds.
“We just wanted them to know our family sends our prayers and deepest condolences to that side of the family,” Morales said.
The older Murti’s homicide case has not yet been solved, she said.