www.montereycountyweekly.com March 14-20, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 11 Solemnity and sadness fill the auditorium at Chalone Peaks Middle School in King City on the evening of Thursday, March 7, where over 300 people are gathered to mourn the loss of four people who were killed at a house party on March 3. Faith leaders offered prayers to start the healing process after the tragedy. Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, a former King City resident, wasn’t surprised by the turnout. “King City has always been a really strong and resilient community and we show up in times of crisis no matter what we’re facing. It’s what makes this community unique,” Lopez says. He used to live on 2nd Street where the shooting happened, and knew some of the victims. “I won’t say it broke me, but it bent me pretty hard,” he adds. Attendees at the vigil included Maria Pineda, who came with her youngest son. Pineda felt this tragedy pretty close; she lost her husband unexpectedly a few months ago. “That’s why I came. I know how sad and painful it is to lose a loved one that way,” Pineda says in Spanish. Pineda lives near the location of the shooting and heard a commotion, but didn’t dare go out. She learned about what happened the following day. The violence erupted one day after King City was euphoric with the Mustangs clinching their second soccer NorCal Division IV championship. According to law enforcement, three men wearing dark-colored masks and clothes arrived in a 2017 silver Kia and interrupted a party on the 200 block of N. 2nd Street on Sunday, March 3. The men opened fire, striking 11 people. The four people who were killed were Alicia Ramirez Aparicio, 32; Mario Guzman Mendoza, 42; Francisco Aldape Perez, 32; and Olivo Perez Piña, 32. Over 70 officers responded to the shooting and started a manhunt. As of March 12, the suspects remain at large. (The suspect vehicle was recovered in an unincorporated area of South County.) Monterey County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Andres Rosas is encouraging people to share any information about the case. “We know there is fear in the community,” Rosas says, but he hopes tips will lead police to the suspects. King City is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the people involved. Despite rumors that the shooting was gang-related, Rosas says there is no evidence the family hosting the party has a gang affiliation, and he notes the investigation remains ongoing. “We don’t want to tell you that it’s a gang-related incident unless we have 100-percent confirmation,” he says. The King City Police Department is working with other local agencies on this case, as well as federal agencies like the FBI and U.S. Marshal Service. “We’re not immune from gang violence, like the rest of our country. Unfortunately, the scale of this event is something that is unimaginable,” Lopez says. On March 7, the Sheriff’s Office announced they and the California Highway Patrol would provide additional patrol in King City. Since then, they have announced three arrests unrelated to the March 3 shooting. In Grief A quadruple murder shakes King City as police continue to search for the killers and boost patrols. By Celia Jiménez Maria Pineda, a 38-year-old farmworker who lives in King City, attended a March 7 prayer vigil with her youngest son, Jefferson Ramirez Pineda. NEWS “We show up in times of crisis no matter what we’re facing.” DANIEL DREIFUSS For more information: www.ci.marina.ca.us REDUCE waste by bringing reusable bags to grocery shop. PREVENT wildlife from getting caught in sixpack rings by cutting them up. PLANT native gardens to save water, reduce pesticide use. RECYCLE at your home, business and school. PICK UP after your dog and dispose of waste in the trash to help prevent water pollution. VOLUNTEER for beach clean ups and storm drain stenciling. The City of Marina Storm Water Program invites you to help PROTECT our COASTAL COMMUNITY Your simple actions can have a positive effect for future generations! Try Us First. We Pay The Highest! MONTEREY COIN SHOPPE Since 1970 same street for 40 years Open Mon-Thur 11am-4pm and Friday by appointment only. Call for an appointment: 831.646.9030 449 Alvarado St., Monterey www.montereycoinshoppe.com WE BUY GOLD AND SILVER, JEWELRY, COINS, DIAMONDS, WATCHES, ART & RARE ANTIQUES