A reputed longtime member of the Mexican Mafia– the prison gang– was shot and killed at a California homeless encampment over the weekend, according to a report.
Samuel Villalba, 64, had a falling out with the group, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was found unresponsive on Sunday evening with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso in an encampment near the 91 Freeway in Long Beach and pronounced dead, police said.
The motive for the shooting remains under investigation, the Long Beach Police Department wrote in a press release. Witnesses described two or more male suspects fleeing the scene, police said.
Originally from the Artesia street gang, Villalba and was classified as a Mexican Mafia member by state prison authorities more than 35 years ago, the paper reported, citing law enforcement records.
He was cast out of the organization’s favor for assaulting an aging member of the Mexican Mafia while serving a nearly 15-year prison sentence, which violated a rule of the organization that forbids members from raising hands against one another, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Villalba was released in 2017. Police said he had been living at the encampment where he was found dead.
“Sooner or later, someone’s going to report back: ‘Hey, guess who I saw?’” former Mexican Mafia member Ramon “Mundo” Mendoza said in an interview, according to the paper. “The guy is an open target. It’s what you’d call an open contract, a lifetime contract.”
Authorities urged anyone with information regarding the incident to contact LBPD Homicide Detectives Donald Collier or Leticia Gamboa.