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A 21-year-old man who was killed in a drive-by shooting Wednesday night as he walked with a friend on a state Highway 1 overpass near Aptos has been identified as Fernando Mendoza-Avila, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The shooting, which is possibly gang-related, was reported at 6:08 p.m. just after the Live Oak resident had been walking westward on Freedom Boulevard with a friend after visiting relatives at a near by home in Aptos when a car drove past the pair, according to the sheriff’s office.
As the car drove past one of three suspects fired multiple rounds from a handgun at the victim. Mendoza-Avila was pronounced dead at the scene, sheriff’s officials said. The suspect vehicle then fled on Freedom Boulevard toward Watsonville. Witnesses described the car as a four-door Honda, which deputies were able to track down to Watsonville. The driver, who owned the Honda, was detained and later arrested and the suspect vehicle was impounded. The car owner, Alfredo Alanis Garcia, 21, of Prunedale, was arrested and is facing homicide, gun and gang charges, sheriff’s officials said.
Two other suspects remain at-large. They are both described as men between 18 and 25 years old, officials said.
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