UPDATED Man Gunned Down in Front Yard

The man was mowing his neighbor's lawn when he was fatally shot Tuesday evening.

Update: 9:45 p.m. Tuesday: A 43-year-old man mowing his neighbor's law was shot multiple times Tuesday evening and died, the Sheriff's Office reported.

The homicide happened at 301 Dutchman Rd. around 6:10 p.m., according to Lt. Fred Plageman.

Plageman said the man, who lived in the neighborhood, was approached by one or two unidentified Latino men.

“He was shot multiple times with a handgun," Plageman said.

Detectives believe the man was targeted.

“This does not appear to be a random contact,” Plageman said.

The man died at the scene. His name was not released pending notification of his family, Plageman said.

No one else was hurt.

The assailants fled in a reddish-brown or maroon Toyota or Honda car, according to the Sheriff's Office. The vehicle wasn't located and no arrests have been made.

“There’s a lot of witnesses that witnessed certain portions or events," Plageman said, adding that detectives and deputies are taking their statements.

Investigators declined to comment on the motive for the killing.

“I don’t know that information at this time. We’re working on a couple of angles but we’ll see," Plageman said. “I can’t characterize it as being gang-related at this time.”

The homicide is the second in South County in four days. Brandon Gil, 21, was fatally stabbed in downtown Watsonville on Saturday night in what police have said is a gang-related attack. No arrests have been made.

The county's Gang Task Force was out working the Gil homicide Tuesday evening and got pulled into assist the Sheriff's Office with the fatal shooting investigation. Plageman said that was because it's a considered a critical incident, not because of any gang ties.

News of a second homicide in the Pajaro Valley so soon after Gil's death created a lot of sadness and fear.

"To hear of all these murders breaks my heart and yes I'm very upset as I stand for no act of violence!" Michelle Frias, who is from the area but lives across the country now, posted on the Watsonville Patch Facebook page shortly after the killing.

"Man...another one??" Gretta Itamura posted on Facebook. "Too close to home...this voilence (sic) needs to stop."

Original Story, 8:45 p.m. Tuesday: A man was shot in the neck near Pinto Lake around 6 p.m. Tuesday, authorities reported.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported a 43-year-old man who was doing work in his neighbor’s yard was killed in a drive-by shooting.

The 911 call came in about 6:10 p.m., according to emergency radio traffic.

People tried to perform CPR on the man, according to emergency radio traffic. A medical helicopter was initially called but was later cancelled.

The shooting happened at 301 Dutchman Rd., between Roe Avenue and Littleway Lane. It’s two blocks off Green Valley Road in quiet rural neighborhood of single-family homes, surrounded by agriculture fields.

Sheriff’s detectives are handling the shooting investigation. They ask that anyone with information about the case call the Investigations Bureau at 454-2311 or the anonymous tip line at 454-2847.

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Jennifer Squires April 04, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Update on the shooting is here: http://watsonville.patch.com/articles/family-in-shock-after-dutchman-road-slaying#photo-9498173
Cathy P. April 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Unfortunately Gabrielle, they don't care about the victims, their families, or their own families.
Cathy P. April 09, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I am so sad for Mr. Cendajas' family. At least he died doing something nice for a neighbor and builing up our community, unlike the cowards who killed him and continue tearing down our community.
Jim April 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
It just comes down to parents not making their children a priority. I'm Hispanic but Hispanics have children without raising them accordingly. The town was a nice simply town until the kids with out any parent guideness got older. I'm ashamed to be called Hispanic because of these stupid thugs
Lisa Cendejas May 09, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Its not a Hispanic problem, It's a morality problem. No one teaches there kids morales now days. Well, I can't say no one, it's just kids don't care. We need to start standing up to these thugs. If you know anything call the anonymous tip line. Don't be afraid of talking and telling someone what you saw. Even if you think it might not of had anything to do with it. You never know, it could be your phone call that stops this. WE NEED TO TAKE BACK OUR STREETS !!!! DON'T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK OUT,


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