Deadly church parking lot shooting generating many leads

Mar 10, 2021, 6:31 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm
Church Parking lot shooting...
(Officers investigating the crime scene near 5240 West 5400 South. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(Officers investigating the crime scene near 5240 West 5400 South. Credit: Paul Nelson)

KEARNS, Utah – Investigators are getting a lot of leads about a deadly shooting in a church parking lot in Kearns. Information not previously released is officially available to the public about the man killed and the suspects. 

Police are identifying the man killed in the shooting as Alonso Gerardo Garcia-Mendoza. Investigators say he was with two people in the parking lot near 5240 West 5400 South when they were approached by three possible suspects in an oxidized red Saturn Ion and the suspects opened fire. 

At first, investigators thought someone involved in the shooting may have carjacked a nearby Dodge Charger, but Unified Police Sergeant Melody Cutler believes that’s no longer the case.

“That car was actually rented by one of our victims who was with Alonso in his BMW when this occurred,” she says.

Shortly after the attack, police had a vague description of the man reportedly driving the Saturn, but Cutler reported they have more information about who else may have been in the suspect vehicle.

“We’re being told that the Saturn was occupied by three males, all Black, in their late teens to early 20s,” according to Cutler.

The Saturn could be the most incriminating piece of evidence against the suspected shooters. Cutler said the oxidized red car stands out among other vehicles, so it’s a well-known car within that part of Kearns.

Cutler reported, “We’ve received some really great leads of where those people have been seen in the last few days.”

Investigators are still trying to pinpoint a motive and piece together details about what led up to the deadly church parking lot shooting. However, the best information may come from the victims still in the hospital. Cutler said they’re looking into the criminal records of everyone they know is involved.

“Those are things we always look for to see if there is any relation to any of these things.  So far, there’s nothing pointed directly to what may have been the motivation, here.”

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Deadly church parking lot shooting generating many leads