A 16-year-old Sylmar boy was killed Monday morning in San Fernando by four assailants, apparently in the mistaken belief that he had killed a member of a gang they associated with, authorities said.
The four suspects rammed the motorcycle Jimmie Torrez was riding and, when he fell off, beat him and shot him with a rifle, authorities said.
Shortly after the shooting, three men and a 16-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of murder and were being held without bail at the San Fernando Jail.
Torrez "was wrongly identified as a suspect in a gang killing," San Fernando Police Sgt. Michael Harvey said. "The guys who chased him down thought he had killed a friend of theirs. But he was not a suspect."
The earlier killing occurred several weeks ago in the Pacoima area, Harvey said. He said the victim of that slaying was a gang member and the four suspects in the Torrez killing were associated with the same gang. Police said they had no information that Torrez belonged to a gang.
Witnesses described the assailant's car to San Fernando police and the vehicle was sighted shortly afterward about a half-mile from the shooting scene, Sheriff's Deputy Chris Wahla said. The car was halted and the suspects were arrested without incident.