A nineteen-year-old is the innocent victim of a gang-related shooting.

Smiling Kevin Wheel

Kevin Wheel

A man aiming a gun out of his passenger side window at Kevin's car

Was Kevin the victim of a gang shooting?

CASE DETAILS

Flyer looking for information on the murder of Kevin Wheel

No leads came from the flyers

On May 3, 1991, just south of Los Angeles in Hawaiian Gardens, California, Kevin Wheel was gunned down by four suspected gang members. He was Teresa Wheel’s only son:

“Kevin was a typical teenager. He loved his music really loud, he was a little bit on the shy side, he had a sense of humor you wouldn’t believe, and he always, always had a smile on his face.”

Hawaiian Gardens had its share of gang activity and Kevin knew several gang members. It was a casual association that proved fatal.

On the night he was killed, Kevin spent the evening at a friend’s house. He was driving home around 11:30 P.M. when, according to eyewitnesses, a car began to follow him and then opened fire. Kevin was struck twice in the head and three times in the back. An hour later, he was dead. L.A. County Sheriff’s Sergeant Jacqueline Franco immediately suspected it was a gang shooting:

“Some of Kevin’s friends were Hawaiian Gardens gang members, but that doesn’t mean that Kevin was a gang member. He just associated with them, and I feel the other gang recognized the car that may have had some of Kevin’s friends in it from time to time, who were Hawaiian Gardens gang members.”

Kevin's mom holding a sign that reads '10,000 reward please help me find kevins murderer'

Kevin’s parents are on a crusade for answers

Following his death, Kevin’s parents would not sit still. They posted thousands of flyers around the area where he was shot. Teresa would not let Kevin’s murder be just another gang-related shooting:

“When the investigation first started, I thought there was so much information that this probably wouldn’t be a problem. And being that Kevin wasn’t a gang member, I believed people would talk. I found out that I was really wrong.”

Sergeant Franco:

“Gang shooting investigations are very frustrating. Within the gang culture, the reason the witnesses do not coming forward is because they feel that being a snitch is worse than death itself.”

Teresa and her husband are still coming to terms with their son’s untimely death:

“The hardest part for Stan and I is dealing with the anger. The anger that our son is dead and buried in a grave at nineteen. There was no rhyme or reason why anybody would want to shoot Kevin. He’s never been in any fights or disagreements with anybody. He was just a nineteen year old out having fun. It is just so senseless. It’s so stupid. It was and still is such a shock that something like this could happen.”

Police believe Kevin’s killers were four males, possibly Hispanic. They were driving a white compact car, and may have been members of a gang based in nearby Artesia.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season six with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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8 Comments

  1. Teresa Wheel

    Thank you all for your comments! The pain never goes away.

    Reply

  2. Gigi

    You and your son stay on my mind. My heart breaks for you, with a prayer of victory you were given the opportunity to see him buried. As much pain you have had to endure, I hope this gave you some relief. I found it angering that no one recognized you. I wish arms were wrapped around you too that day. As a Mother, or sibling, gang member, knew of his sins. Miserable inhuman, masquerading
    as “good people”. Unforgivable! Bless you.

    Reply

  3. Name

    When are you going to update this case?

    Reply

    • Unsolved Mysteries Post author

      We are unaware of an update in this case. If you have any information, please use the tips form or contact us directly through the app or [email protected]. Thank you.

      Reply

    • Teresa wheel

      It was Artesia gang members. The one who actually did the shooting died of a heart attack about a year and a half ago. No justice for Kevin. Just glad the murder is dead… I (mom) went to his grave side service and luckily no one recognized me. He is so missed and loved.

      Kevin’s Mom

      Reply

  4. Charles

    I believe the detective had it accurate in this case. It was likely an initiation killing. It is frustrating that the authorities couldn’t round up known members and interrogate them…but the law doesn’t work like that. I feel so sad for the parents as it is likely this case will never get solved. I cannot imagine the senselessness they must feel over this.

    Reply

  5. thinkingoutloud

    so sad no one is probably ever going to speak up because they’re fearful. poor kevin probably won’t ever get justive

    Reply

  6. Blue bird

    Why Would someone Do Something So Mean To A 19 Year old Young Man God Bless U And RIP!

    Reply