Wife Of Man Shot To Death In Kearns Calls For Justice, Help Finding Suspects

Mar 12, 2021, 12:01 AM | Updated: 8:54 am

KEARNS, Utah – As Unified Police continue the search for the suspects accused of killing one man and injuring two more, family members of the man who died said he was trying to escape the gunfire and didn’t know why he was targeted.

On Thursday, they were pleading for help in finding the shooters.

“My son was always about family,” Rebecca Ortiz Calderon said.

She described her son, Alonso Garcia Mendoza, as a protective big brother and friend to everyone.

“He was the father figure that my children never had growing up,” Calderon said.

The loving husband and father of two children was in the parking lot of a Kearns church on Tuesday when shots rang out.

“They were talking and this car rolled up and lit up my husband’s car,” Mendoza’s wife Shan Garcia Mendoza said. “He didn’t have a choice — he didn’t get to run.”

Alonso Mendoza was in the car with two friends. He tried to drive away after the shots were fired, but he was shot and crashed into a wall. One of his friends ran after the suspects.

“The person ran out of that car to find the other people that did it,” Shan Mendoza said.

“He did not run away from the scene,” Calderon said. “He was running after one of the suspects that had shot my son — that’s where he ended up at the edge of the grass of the church, and the medical bags and equipment there because … he ran after them having a bullet in his chest (and) he collapsed.”

The other friend was also injured, but he tried to help Alonso Mendoza.

“The other one stayed and held my husband and gave him CPR,” Shan Mendoza said.

Police were still looking for the shooters and a red Saturn car. Officers said four men were inside.

“I don’t get to do anything but have to figure out how I have to explain to my kids every day why he’s not here,” Mendoza said. “Plus I have to figure out how to be OK — I’m not OK. Someone took my whole life.”

Alonso Mendoza’s family doesn’t know what led the shooters to target him, but they said they pray the community will help them find justice.

“We want these four suspects to understand they can’t run forever,” Calderon said. “We will be right behind them.”

Police do not suspect the incident was gang-related. In the meantime, a GoFundMe* account has been set up to help Mendoza’s family. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Unified Police Department tipline at 801-743-7000.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Wife Of Man Shot To Death In Kearns Calls For Justice, Help Finding Suspects