General Crime

* Alfredo Garcia, Christopher Herrera and Rafael Barron arrested in connection with a fatal gang shooting that occurred in Aptos

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Three Monterey County men have been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred in Aptos on Wednesday night, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said today. Alfredo Alanis Garcia and Christopher Herrera, both 21-year-old Prunedale residents, and Rafael Barron, 20, of Las Lomas, were allegedly smoking marijuana and driving in Garcia’s car when the shooting occurred, according to Deputy April Skalland.

The three were on their way to the Watsonville area when they spotted the victim, Fernando Martin Mendoza-Avila, 21, and a friend, walking on Freedom Boulevard near state Highway 1 just after 6 p.m., Skalland said. One of the suspects allegedly fired multiple shots, hitting Mendoza-Avila, before the vehicle fled on Freedom Boulevard toward Watsonville, Skalland said. Mendoza-Avila, a resident of Live Oak, died at the scene.

Garcia was identified as the owner of the Honda involved in the shooting and arrested after his vehicle was tracked to Watsonville.Herrera and Barron remained at large until today, when sheriff’s investigators spotted Herrera getting into a gray Pontiac driven by Barron in the area of Ginos Court in Freedom. Both were arrested.All three face charges of homicide and commission of a crime in furtherance of a gang, as well as use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Skalland said.

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