Three documented gang members were in custody Monday and expected to face murder and hate-crime charges in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man outside a North County supermarket last winter.

Tyler James Dean, 25, Kevin Garcia, 21, and Ryan Thomas Valdez, 18, allegedly attacked 33-year-old Hugh Pettigrew as the victim was walking home from a McDonald’s restaurant in Fallbrook about 10:45 p.m. Jan. 22, according to sheriff’s officials.

Investigators think Pettigrew was attacked because of his race, said Lt. Kenneth Nelson. The victim was black, and the suspects are Latino.

Following the assault in the 400 block of Ammunition Road, the assailants got into a red 1997 Honda Civic parked in front of the nearby Albertsons store and were driven away by an unidentified woman.

Pettigrew managed to walk to his Alturas Road home before collapsing. Family members called 911, and medics took the victim to a hospital, where he died 18 days later due to complications from his wounds.

A surveillance camera captured images of the suspects and the car in which they left the crime scene. That evidence, witness statements and other findings led investigators to identify Dean, Garcia and Valdez as the alleged killers, according to Nelson.

The getaway driver has been identified and interviewed and currently is considered a witness in the case, the lieutenant said.

Dean and Garcia have been in custody on unrelated charges since February and were re-booked Monday in connection with the homicide. Valdez was arrested without incident Monday morning in Fallbrook.

— City News Service