BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — On the night of Sept. 18, Daniel Landeros and a male friend took advantage of temperatures in the low 70s and celebrated his birthday with a walk that took them through local parks.
On their return, a man approached them by Yokuts Park around 11 p.m. and called Landeros “a homosexual derogatory slang,” the friend told Bakersfield police.
Landeros, an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, wasn’t about to let that slide, according to the friend’s statement contained in newly-released court documents. He argued with the other man. The friend said he waited near a park bench.
A single gunshot rang out, and Landeros stumbled toward him, the friend told police. Moments later, a dark-colored “square” SUV — which he’d seen the other man stand near — took off.
Landeros, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene.
His accused killer, Fredi Rivera, 27, faces charges of first-degree murder and violating a 10-year firearm ban from an earlier conviction. He’s being held on more than $1 million bail.
Only Rivera is named in the court documents. The names of the friend and others questioned by police are redacted.
Police retrieved surveillance video identifying the suspect vehicle as a black 2006-07 Hummer H3, the documents say. They linked the vehicle to Rivera and learned he was on probation for grand theft, according to the reports.
Rivera was arrested near his mother’s home in Delano, where he’d been living, early on Oct. 4.
Interviewed by police, the mother at first claimed the Hummer had been in her driveway the night of the shooting, the reports say. Later, after police said they knew she was lying and confronted her with surveillance images showing the vehicle in Bakersfield, she admitted she hadn’t seen it and Rivera had told her to report it stolen, according to the documents.
During the interview, investigators probed into Rivera’s feelings about homosexuals.
“We asked her about Fredi Rivera’s sexual orientation and she told us that he was into women,” an investigator wrote. “We asked her how Fredi Rivera felt about people who identify as gay and she told me she did not know but he never demonstrated hate towards them.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in December.