King City Police Department press conference
Local officials host a press conference Tuesday at the King City Police Department about the ongoing investigation into the shooting deaths of four victims in King City. Those present included King City Police Chief James Hunt, King City Mayor Mike LeBarre, Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, Greenfield Police Chief Guillermo Mixer, Soledad Police Chief Damon Wasson and other law enforcement and government representatives. (Courtesy of KCPD)

KING CITY — Four residents were killed and seven others injured following a shooting Sunday night outside a home on Second Street in King City, and now a $20,000 reward is being offered to help capture the suspects involved.

The four killed have been identified by family members and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office as Alicia Ramirez Aparicio, 32; Mario Guzman Mendoza, 42; Francisco Aldape Perez, 32; and Olivo Perez Pina, 32; all of King City.

A prayer vigil for the victims will be held Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m. inside the multipurpose room at Chalone Peaks Middle School, 667 Meyer St., in King City.

On Monday, King City Mayor Mike LeBarre condemned the act of violence, calling the murders and mass shooting a “terrible tragedy for our entire community.”

“We are heartbroken and share our deepest sympathy with the family and friends of those who were killed by this ruthless act of violence,” said LeBarre in a news release. “We want to respect the privacy of the families that are suffering, but please know the City is here to help provide or access any resources that would be of assistance and support. I want to assure the community that we are taking all actions and dedicating all resources in our power to bring these criminals to justice, and we will continue to expand our extensive activities and programs dedicated to preventing violence.”

King City Police Department responded to a report of shots fired at about 6 p.m. on March 3 in the 200 block of N. Second Street near downtown. 

Officers found three adult males suffering from gunshot wounds in the front yard of the residence. Despite life-saving efforts, they all died at the scene. An adult female who was shot was transported by another person to Mee Memorial Hospital in King City, where she was pronounced dead.

Seven additional people — four adult males and three adult females — also suffered gunshot wounds, two of whom are in critical condition, with the other five having non-life-threatening injuries. The victims were taken to hospitals within Monterey County for medical treatment.

According to King City Police Chief James Hunt, a birthday party was taking place at the residence with several people in the front yard when a silver Kia pulled up out front. Three males exited the vehicle and “shot multiple rounds at the party goers in the front yard,” Hunt said.

The suspects — described as wearing dark-colored clothing and masks — got back in their vehicle and fled the scene. 

“They have not been identified and remain outstanding,” Hunt said.

With the help of the citywide surveillance cameras and follow-up investigation, police discovered that the suspects’ vehicle was a 2017 Kia Rio with California license plates (7ZND369), which had been reported stolen out of Pacific Grove in late February.

(UPDATE 3/6/24 at 3 p.m.: Police have recovered the vehicle in South Monterey County.)

Police stated the suspects are considered armed and dangerous, and anyone who may encounter them should call 911. The City of King is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved.

“The King City Police Department would like to express our condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and those that were injured,” Hunt said. “This is truly a sad day for the entire King City community. We share in your grief and assure you that we are taking all possible steps to identify the suspects and bring them to justice.”

King City shooting suspect vehicle
Police have released this photo of the suspects’ vehicle, a silver 2017 Kia Rio, used in Sunday’s shooting in King City. The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Pacific Grove in late February. (Courtesy of MCSO)

College declares campus ‘safe’

Hartnell College, whose King City Education Center is located at 117 N. Second St. — near where the shooting occurred — released a statement Monday morning that the campus was declared “clear and safe.”

“We are deeply saddened by the recent events that transpired in King City Sunday evening,” said Michael Gutierrez, superintendent/president of Hartnell College, in the statement. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families, friends, and all those affected by this incident. In these trying times, we are reminded of the importance of community, support, and understanding.”

Following the incident, the college “thoroughly assessed” the King City Education Center campus led by the director of safety before deeming it safe.

“We recognize that healing from such an event takes time and a network of support,” Gutierrez added. “To our students needing grief counseling, our counselors are ready to assist you through this challenging time and encourage you to reach out without hesitation.”

Mee Memorial Healthcare System, which operates the King City hospital, posted a statement on social media Monday, saying that it was “deeply saddened by the events that occurred.”

“We stand with our community as we express our deepest condolences to all those impacted,” the statement read. “Mee Memorial is fully committed to supporting our community and staff during this very challenging time. Our facilities are open and safe, services are unaffected. Our team is working tirelessly to support the healing process. Our focus remains on providing compassionate care and support to those in need.”

Soledad Police Department
A Soledad Police officer patrols outside San Vicente Elementary School on Monday. The department, along with Greenfield Police, increased patrols this week in light of the shooting in King City and unverified school threats. (Soledad Police Department)

Partner agencies offer support

King City Police Department gave thanks to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Greenfield Police Department, Soledad Police Department, Seaside Police Department, Pacific Grove Police Department, Salinas Police Department and the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.

Hunt said the City is “accessing all available resources through its partnerships to maximize the response.”

Due to the shooting in King City as well as unverified threats to various local schools, officers from Greenfield and Soledad teamed up with California State Parole and the South Monterey County Task Force on Monday to conduct a probation/parole compliance operation, along with school zone saturations and increased patrols in both cities to ensure the community’s safety.

“The safety of South County is not something we take lightly, and the most important part of our job is protecting you and your families,” stated Soledad Police Department in a Facebook post. “We will continue these operations over the coming days and nights to keep our cities safe.”

Greenfield Police Chief Guillermo Mixer denounced the shooting as a “senseless act of violence.”

“I assure you that we are actively working to address the situation and take every necessary action to prevent further violence,” Mixer said in a message posted on Facebook. “We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community members.”

Anyone with additional information regarding this case is encouraged to contact King City Police Sgt. Josh Partida at 831-386-5988 or [email protected]; or the WeTip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Previous articleNew fire station addresses critical need in Southern Monterey County
Next articleWorthy to Print Column | And Then There Was One
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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here