Pastor arrested for hiring hitmen to kill daughter’s boyfriend

RIVERSIDE, CA – A pastor from Victorville, California, Samuel Pasillas, 47, was arrested last week, accused of hiring hitmen to murder his daughter’s boyfriend. Riverside authorities allege that Pasillas offered close to $40,000 to Juan Manuel Cebreros, 55, and other unidentified men to carry out the murder in October 2023.

Investigative reports suggest that Pasillas had met with the hired men, providing them with detailed information about the intended victim, including his whereabouts on the night of the planned shooting. It was also discovered that the men had been paid nearly $40,000 and had been conducting surveillance on the victim in the weeks leading up to the shooting.

The incident came to light on October 21 of the previous year when Riverside police were alerted about a gunshot victim who had arrived at a local hospital. The shooting had reportedly occurred around 7 p.m. in the Orangecrest neighborhood.

The victim, an adult male, reported that he was driving when another vehicle pulled up alongside his and the occupants began shooting at him. He was hit multiple times before he managed to drive himself to the hospital for treatment.

Evidence was later recovered from the scene of the shooting. A subsequent investigation by the Riverside Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Unit, Problem-Oriented Policing Team, and Crime Analysis Unit led to the conclusion that the shooting was a planned murder-for-hire plot.

The victim was identified as the boyfriend of a woman whose father, Pasillas, is a pastor at a Spanish-speaking church in Victorville. Pasillas has been charged with solicitation for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. He is currently held on a $1 million bond.

Cebreros, the alleged hitman, was also arrested and faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. He too is being held on a $1 million bond.

The investigation into the shooting continues, with the Riverside police appealing for information from the public.