Two Homicide Suspects Arrested in Watsonville

Three North Monterey County men are now behind bars for allegedly killing a Live Oak man.

Sheriff's detectives arrested two more men suspected of the gang-motivated drive-by shooting death of a 21-year-old Live Oak man on Wednesday in Aptos, the Sheriff's Office reported Friday afternoon.

Christopher Herrera, 21, of Prunedale and Rafael Barron, 20, of Las Lomas were arrested on Ginos Court in Watsonville on Friday, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Fernando Martin Mendoza-Avila, 21, was gunned down on the Freedom Boulevard-Highway 1 overpass around 6 p.m. Wednesday as he left a family gathering with a friend.

Garcia—the suspected driver—was with Herrera and Barron in Aptos smoking mariuan in Garcia's gray Honda sedan on Wednesday afternoon. As they headed back toward the Watsonville area, they saw Mendoza-Avila and one of the three suspected shot at him with a 22-caliber gun, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Mendoza-Avila died at the scene.

Authorities have said the killing was gang-related but did not elaborate on the motivation.

Garcia was arrested Thursday, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Friday, investigators reportedly had information that Herrera was on Ginos Court. They saw him get into the passenger seat of a gray Pontiac and Barron got into the driver's seat. As they drove away, deputies pulled over the car and arrested both men, according to the Sheriff's Office.

All three men were jailed on suspicion of homicide, gang participation and gun crimes. They are being held in County Jail.

For all of Patch's coverage of the deadly drive-by shooting, click here.


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