RIALTO – A gunman shot and killed a man who handed over his wallet and valuables while waiting in a drive-through line at a Taco Bell early Sunday morning.
Police said Joshua Huizar, 20, of Rialto, was driving through the line at nearly 1 a.m. when a man walked up to the car and demanded his wallet and other property. Huizar gave up his wallet, said police.
The gunman shot him when he tried to drive away. An 18-year-old woman who was in the car was not harmed, said police who declined to give her name.
Paramedics took Huizar to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, but doctors pronounced him dead at 1:45 a.m. Police said that Huizar saw a chance to escape when the gunman attempted to reach inside the drive-through window to steal additional items.
There is an apparent link to this crime and a series of armed robberies that have taken place in nearby cities, including Ontario, Upland, Redlands and San Bernardino.
Rialto police Officer Dave Shepherd said investigators are looking into the possibility that the crimes are connected.
The suspect in the latest crime was a black man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, which is a similar description that fits a man who robbed a Dairy Queen in Redlands on March 23.
Other Redlands attempts, according to police spokesman Carl Baker, include a Stells Coffee Shop on March 7, Shear Perfection hair salon on March 14 and an attempted robbery at a Radio Shack on March 28.
Those dates were corrections on previous attempts made by the armed suspect, said Baker. A description released by Redlands is of a 200-pound black man who stands between 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-4 who wore a yellow bandana over his face during the crimes.
The Taco Bell restaurant sits in a shopping center that exists near a major portion of Rialto on the north side of Base Line Road, one of the main arteries that connects several cities and two counties. It’s right across the street from Eisenhower High School and rests in front of the Regency Rialto Stadium 8 movie theater.
Any information in this investigation should be directed to Det. Paul Stella, a Rialto police corporal, at (909)820-2590 or 820-2550.