Avenal Police Chief says two teens lured 14-year-old boy to his death

AVENAL, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two teen are in jail, accused of killing, Yovani Hernandez, a 14-year-old boy from Avenal.

It's been 4 months since Yovani Hernandez was murdered. He was shot multiple times down the street from his home and left to die on his neighbor's doorstep.

Avenal Police Chief, Russell Stivers said, "A crime like this, in a neighborhood, it really puts fear in people."

On Wednesday, Chief Stivers held a press conference to put some fear to rest and name two suspects; 18-year-old Steven Lomeli and 17-year-old Darron Brumley. Lomeli was arrested on Tuesday and Brumley was already in custody on unrelated charges.

"They're both well known to the officers here, very well known," Chief Stivers said.

He says both suspects are gang members and they worked together to lure Yovani to his death. Family members say Lomeli acted like a friend the day of the murder, he knocked on the door and 5 minutes later, there were gunshots.

Yovani's sister, Brenda Hernandez said, "I'm just thanking god and the police from Avenal that they got the ones who did it and that he (Lomeli) stays there for a long time."

Lomeli was arrested early on but there wasn't enough evidence to keep in in jail. Chief Stivers there also wasn't a lot of cooperation when the investigation started. He says, people were afraid to talk and it took a lot of police work to get to this point.

"We just kept examining physical evidence and tying that in with witness interviews," Chief Stivers added, "just perseverance and putting everything together."

As for a motive, investigators say it's gang related. It isn't clear which suspect pulled the trigger but both are facing murder charges. And even though, Brumley is 17, he will be charged as an adult.

Yovani's family members say the boy was not in a gang and he would have been 15 in August.

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