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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

The Liberty Sky Apartments...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Why Utah and Salt Lake County could fare better than most in a mild recession

Predicting when the next economic recession will hit or how bad it will be can be difficult, especially in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic upended supply chains and the traditional ways Americans work.

16 hours ago

emergency lights generic...

Larry D. Curtis

Police identify Utah couple killed in apparent murder and suicide

Two people found dead in a home Wednesday night in Hyrum, Utah were killed in an apparent murder and suicide.

16 hours ago

contestants in a pageant...

Ashley Moser

Lehi teen stripped of crown, sash and pageant title after clerical error

A Lehi teen was stripped of her title just three days after winning the Miss Lehi Teen competition due to a clerical error.

16 hours ago

FILE - The Utah Capitol is shown on March 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City. Attorneys representing adult ...

Ashley Imlay, KSL.com and Lindsay Aerts, KSL NewsRadio

Cox, Legislature will move back municipal elections for special election to replace Rep. Stewart

Gov. Spencer Cox announced that he and the Legislature are pushing Utah's municipal elections several weeks later than planned so the state can also hold a special election to fill the seat of retiring Utah Rep. Chris Stewart on the same days.

16 hours ago

Utah Food Bank trucks backed up to a building ahead of its free summer lunch program for Utah kids....

Karah Brackin

Utah Food Bank offering free summer lunches for kids

The Utah Food Bank says 142,000 kids are experiencing food insecurity across the state, and it hopes to help bridge the summer meal gap.

16 hours ago

Cache County deputies at the scene of a fatal shooting in Hyrum, Utah. (Brian Champagne/KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

Two found dead after shooting at Cache County home

Deputies are investigating after two people were found dead in their home Wednesday night.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

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