Two men were officially confirmed Tuesday by police as persons of interest in the shooting that occurred last month at Sacramento City College.
Tevita Kaihea, 19, and Charlie Hola, 19, were identified by investigators as potentially being involved in the slaying of Roman P. Gonzalez, 25, on Sept. 3 in a campus parking lot. The two men are being held in connection with the robbery of a Church’s Chicken restaurant on Florin Road less than two hours before the shooting on the college campus.
The announcement comes seven weeks following the afternoon fight involving four men that put Sacramento City College on lockdown. Police have not yet identified the gunman. Sgt. Doug Morse said investigators have focused on nailing down the details of their case.
“It is safe to say that the persons involved in the (city college) incident have been identified, and these two were directly involved in the homicide,” Morse said, adding, “The utmost care has been given to this case.”
The shooting occurred when Gonzalez and his cousin, Rico Ridgeway, 24, began fighting with two men in a parking lot on the edge of campus. Ridgeway allegedly stabbed one of the men, identified by authorities at the time as Hola.
Police have never identified the fourth man, whom they said fired the shots that killed Gonzalez and grazed Ridgeway before fleeing the campus. They described the gunman only as a Pacific Islander who was wearing a white T-shirt and tan cargo shorts.
Gonzalez and Ridgeway were enrolled as students at the school, and Hola was a former student, according to school officials. College spokesman Rick Brewer said Kaihea was never enrolled in the Los Rios Community College District and had no connection to the city college.
Kaihea is being held without bail at the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm in the armed holdup of the Church’s Chicken. He made a brief appearance in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday.
He will return Nov. 19 to court on the same morning docket as Hola, the second suspect in the Church’s robbery.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that a silver Chrysler Town & Country minivan stolen from Regional Transit’s 47th Street light rail station, also on Sept. 3, was later seen at Church’s Chicken on Florin Road. Two masked men – one armed with a black and silver handgun – left the van and entered the restaurant, according to the documents.
Authorities later recovered the stolen van and, on Sept. 5, police arrested Hola at his home. There, police found a black and silver handgun.
DNA samples were taken from the minivan and gun as well as a knife. It is unclear from the documents whether the knife mentioned is the weapon used to stab Hola. The court also ordered Hola to submit to a DNA swab.
Jeff Hightower, prosecuting Sacramento County deputy district attorney, said he had to review pages of discovery and video related to the robbery in asking for the Nov. 19 date, telling Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman he planned to present a motion joining Kaihea’s and Hola’s cases that day.
Kaihea, speaking to The Sacramento Bee in jail on Monday, confirmed he knows Hola but denied any role in the robbery.
Gonzalez’s cousin, an out-of-custody Ridgeway, also appeared briefly in court Tuesday. He, too, will return Nov. 19, suspected of assault with a deadly weapon in the near-fatal attack on Hola.