California pastor accused of hiring hitmen to kill man dating his daughter

Two men, including a pastor, are arrested in the October car-to-car shooting of a man in Riverside.

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A Southern California church pastor was arrested last week in what authorities described as a murder-for-hire plot that targeted a man who dated his daughter, police announced Tuesday.

Samuel Davalos Pasillas, 47, of Victorville, was arrested March 13 in the Oct. 21 car-to-car shooting of a man who was driving in the Riverside area. The victim was struck several times by gunfire from inside a car that pulled alongside him near Grove Community Drive and Plainview Street, but survived after driving to a hospital for treatment.

In a news release issued Tuesday, Riverside police said the shooting was part of a murder-for-hire plot hatched by Pasillas. He is accused of paying two men to carry out the killing after providing them with information about his daughter's boyfriend, including where he would be on the night of the shooting, police said.

"Detectives also determined these men were paid almost $40,000 by the father and had conducted surveillance on the victim in the weeks leading up to when they shot him," police said in a statement.

Photos released by the department showed what appeared to be bullet holes in the windows of the victim's car.

Pastor Rafael Parras, who runs Centro de Oración Internacional, told NBCLA the church does not have a fixed location and holds services around Victorville. He said Pasillas has been a volunteer with the church for about 10 years and filled in on pastor duties when Parras was away.

Pasillas was arrested on suspicion of solicitation for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. Juan Manuel Cebreros, 55, of Long Beach, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Both men are being held on $1 million bond.

They were taken into custody March 13 -- Pasillas in Victorville and Cebreros in Long Beach -- and entered not guilty pleas to several charges during a joint arraignment, according to court documents.

Jail and court records indicated a next court date for both men was set for March 26. It was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys. NBCLA has reached out to the public defender's office of Riverside County.

No one answered the door at the Pasillas family home when NBCLA attempted to contact them for comment Wednesday.

The search continued Wednesday for a third person wanted in connection with the shooting. Anyone with additional information was asked to contact police at 951-353-7104

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