SAN BERNARDINO – A triple shooting that led to three men dying brought the death total to 18 in San Bernardino this year.
Police arrested Trayvon Stokes, 32, who had been positively identified in shooting three San Bernardino men in the hospitality section of San Bernardino early Friday morning.
Kavin Johnson, 26, of Colton, David Lawler, 21, and Terry Freeman, 20, both of San Bernardino, were shot to death in what police were saying may be a gang-related shooting. Investigators, according to San Bernardino spokesman Gary Robertson, are saying Stokes and at least one victim had gang ties.
The Ahalena Hookah Lounge, which is the only business open at that time of day, was the scene of the shooting. Some 60 to 100 were congregating outside the lounge, located on the 1900 block of South Diners Court, which is open 24 hours a day. Police received the call about a shooting at 4:17 a.m.
“Just prior to the shooting,” said Robertson, “there was a verbal exchange between the victims and the suspect, and gang affiliation was verbally acknowledged.”
Johnson was found dead at the scene while Lawler and Freeman died at nearly Loma Linda University Medical Center, said police. Lawler and Freeman were half brothers, said police, and the three men were cousins.
Freeman, who took a bullet in his neck, walked away from the parking lot and eventually returned to the crime scene on foot before collapsing. Witnesses saw all three victims inside the lounge before the shooting.
Stokes, who had been positively identified as the shooter, was tracked down to a motel room in the Riverside County city of Moreno Valley, located about 20 miles from the crime scene. Police brought him back to San Bernardino for questioning where he was positively identified by witnesses as the shooter.
Robertson said Stokes began firing multiple shots that struck the three victims, got into a red or burgundy four-door car and fleeing the scene. Police did not say any other suspects were taken into custody.
Three shootings earlier in the week led to two other deaths, leaving 18 dead in 2014 in San Bernardino, according to police reports.
Press Enterprise: Suspect indentified in fatal shooting