Crime - Sacto 911

Police probe link between armed robbery, Sac City shooting

Witnesses describe Sacramento City College shooting

Video and photographs by Renée C. Byer, produced by Andrew Seng
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Video and photographs by Renée C. Byer, produced by Andrew Seng

Police were looking into the possibility that a man charged with robbing a Florin Road restaurant Sept. 3 may also have been involved in a fatal shooting at Sacramento City College more than an hour later.

Tevita Kaihea, 19, was being held without bail at the Sacramento County jail on suspicion of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had not been officially identified as a suspect in the college case.

On Sept. 22, the Sacramento Police Department issued a statement saying authorities were seeking Kaihea – described as “armed and extremely dangerous” – in connection with the robbery of the Church’s Chicken restaurant on Florin Road at 2:39 p.m. Sept. 3. The two robbers were armed with a handgun, the news release said.

Kaihea was later arrested and booked into the county jail, where his bail was initially set at $1 million before he was deemed ineligible for release.

The second suspect in the Church’s Chicken robbery is Charlie Hola, 19. About 90 minutes after the robbery, Hola was stabbed in a melee at Sacramento City College.

Hola was accompanied on the campus that day by a man that police had not yet identified. Police say the pair got into a fight with two other men, Roman P. Gonzalez, 25, and his cousin, Rico Ridgeway, 24.

Police say the as-yet-unidentified assailant fatally shot Gonzalez and that Ridgeway stabbed Hola, wounding him.

The shooter fled on foot and was described by police as a Pacific Islander wearing a white T-shirt and tan cargo shorts. Police have yet to announce the arrest of a shooting suspect more than seven weeks later.

Police spokesman Justin Brown said investigators hadn’t linked Kaihea to the violent confrontation at the community college in Land Park.

“There’s been no confirmed connection to the Sac City shooting,” Brown said. “Obviously it’s something our investigators will look into.”

Hola is being held at the jail – also on charges of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He, too, is ineligible for bail.

Though Hola is suspected of robbing the chicken restaurant, he has not been linked as a co-defendant with Kaihea in the case. Hola’s attorney, Alexander Asterlin, said he is “waiting to see what direction the DA will take the case,” and whether prosecutors will name a co-defendant.

Hola is scheduled to return Nov. 19 to Sacramento Superior Court in connection with the September robbery.

Kaihea is scheduled to appear Tuesday morning for a bail review hearing and an arraignment on a probation violation. He has a criminal record involving weapons violations, as do Hola, Gonzalez and Ridgeway.

In an interview in the jail Monday evening, Kaihea said he understood that he was arrested on suspicion of committing the Church’s Chicken robbery but said he didn’t do it. He confirmed that he knows Charlie Hola, but said he hasn’t seen him in a while.

“I was intoxicated; I just woke up in jail,” he said.

Video and photographs by Renée C. Byer, produced by Andrew Seng

Hudson Sangree: 916-321-1191, @hudson_sangree

Bee staff writer Darrell Smith contributed to this report.

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