Prayer vigil King City
Local faith group leaders, who helped organize last Thursday’s community prayer vigil at Chalone Peaks Middle School, gather to pray for the victims of the March 3 mass shooting in King City. (Courtesy of Robert Rivas)

KING CITY — A community prayer vigil for the families of the victims in last Sunday’s deadly mass shooting in King City took place Thursday night at Chalone Peaks Middle School.

The March 7 vigil was held inside the multipurpose room at the King City school, where hundreds of community members gathered to pray and pay their respects alongside local officials, police and faith group leaders, who helped organize the event.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to tonight’s vigil to help us begin the healing process,” said Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez on social media. “I know (I’m) not alone in saying that I needed tonight.”

Joining Lopez at the vigil were Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, King City Mayor Mike LeBarre, King City Councilmember Carlos Victoria and other elected officials to support the families affected by the tragedy that took the lives of four residents and injured seven others.

“Amazing show of unity among our faith leaders and community in King City tonight in support of all the mass shooting victims and their families,” said Alejo in a social media post. “There’s a lot of pain and hurt right now in the community.”

Additional Monterey County Sheriff’s Office deputies and California Highway Patrol officers patrolled the King City area that day to assist the King City Police Department, including at the vigil. King City officers stood with the community and made sure the event was peaceful and safe for all in attendance.

“I want to thank the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol for their assistance with extra patrols,” said King City Police Chief James Hunt in a news release Thursday. “Tonight is a night to honor and reflect on those that lost their lives or were injured during this terrible event.”

Prayer vigil King City
Hundreds of community members attend a prayer vigil Thursday night at Chalone Peaks Middle School to pay their respects to the victims in last Sunday’s deadly mass shooting in King City. (Courtesy of Chris Lopez)

On March 3 at about 6 p.m., three masked gunmen opened fire at a birthday party taking place in the front yard of a home on the 200 block of North Second Street in King City, killing four residents and injuring seven others, two critically.

The four killed were identified as 32-year-old Alicia Aparicio, 32-year-old Francisco Aldape, 32-year-old Olivo Piña and 42-year-old Mario Guzman, all residents of King City.

The three male suspects, who are considered armed and dangerous, have not been identified and remain outstanding, police said. Their vehicle, a silver 2017 Kia Rio that had been reported stolen from Pacific Grove in late February, was located in an unincorporated area of South Monterey County on March 6.

The City of King is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.

“We continue to ask the King City community to reach out to us with any information they may have that may be related to this incident,” stated the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in a news release. “This includes speaking to Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol officers or King City Police officers that you may see patrolling city streets and providing information directly to them.”

Anyone with additional information about this incident can contact the following: King City Detective Sgt. Josh Partida at 831-386-5988; Monterey County Sheriff’s Detective Arras Wilson at 831-597-1225; or 1-888-78-C-R-I-M-E. Information can also be submitted anonymously via the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office webpage by going to and selecting the “Submit a Crime Tip” tab.

“We stand with the King City Police Department and South Monterey County residents to try to bring some sense of safety back to our communities,” said Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto, “but we also understand that there will always be a hole in our hearts for the loss that we have all suffered.”

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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