FONTANA ( — A gang member has been arrested in the deadly shooting of a man in a Fontana park, police announced Thursday.

On Tuesday at 7:08 p.m., officers responded to a call of shots fired in Veterans Park on Merrill Avenue.

Upon arrival, they found two men had been shot, police said.

The victims were playing cards at the park when a group of juveniles confronted them and shot them, possibly for money, according to police.

One of the victims was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was identified as 62-year-old Hermogenes Padilla.

“He was a very sporty type of person. He liked to do anything he could get his hands on,” said the victim’s cousin Alonso Padilla. “Nobody has the right to come and take somebody’s life just because they want some change. They weren’t playing with hundreds and thousands of dollars.”

The other victim, Padilla’s friend, Hector, survived.

“Actually went through his arm, and it was going straight through his heart. He was wearing his jacket and hit him in the button. A miracle,” Hector’s son said.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested in the killing. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on a probation violation. The suspects are from a local gang, police said.

Police said a 13-year-old and another 15-year-old were released after being interviewed by officers.

A Gofundme account has been set up to raise funds to help pay for Padilla’s funeral.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Fontana police at (909) 350-7700 or call detective Ronald Vogelsang at (909) 350-7735.


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