3 charged in fatal gang-related stabbing

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EL CAJON — Two 18-year-old men and a teenager were in custody Wednesday in connection with the apparent gang-related stabbing death of a 19-year-old El Cajon man.

Francisco Gabriel Meza and Luis Mondragon Pedroza, both 18, were booked on suspicion of first-degree murder in the Dec. 12 slaying of Kyle Khamphan, said El Cajon police Lt. Rob Ransweiler.

A 17-year-old, whose name was not released, was also arrested on “homicide-related charges,” he said.

Khamphan was driven in a private vehicle to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa a week ago Tuesday night following a fight in the 700 block of East Park Avenue in El Cajon, but was dead on arrival of stab wounds to his upper body, police said. When officers arrived at the scene of the fight, all combatants had fled, but officers later located an injured 17-year-old who was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Detectives launched a homicide investigation about 8:20 that night when Khamphan was dropped of the La Mesa hospital, believing the fight and stabbings were gang-related.

The detectives tracked down Pedroza late Monday morning. They pulled over a sedan on the shoulder of state Route 125 near Grossmont Boulevard in La Mesa, where he was arrested and an unidentified woman detained, Ransweiler said.

He said Pedroza was wanted in connection with the “stabbing death of Khamphan and the attempted murder of a juvenile victim. Detectives worked throughout the day (Monday) and into the evening, serving multiple search warrants as they looked for evidence of the crime and the other two suspects.”

That effort resulted in the arrests of Meza and the unidentified 17- year-old.

Pedroza was tentatively scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the El Cajon Courthouse, while Meza was expected to be arraigned Thursday in El Cajon.

Detectives believe all suspects in the stabbings have been arrested but asked anyone with information about the case to call the police department’s investigations division at (619) 579-3320.