Police arrest four suspects in 2022 murder in Santa Maria

November 29, 2023


Authorities arrested four suspects on murder charges over a 2002 shooting in a Santa Maria parking structure that killed a 17-year-old boy and left a woman wounded. 

Shortly before midnight on Feb. 4, 2022, multiple 911 callers reported a shooting in the parking structure of the Town Center Mall. Officers arrived to find 17-year-old Alexis Mendoza of Santa Maria dead from a gunshot wound, according to the city’s police department.

While investigating the scene, police discovered a 24-year-old Santa Maria woman had also been struck by gunfire. The woman sustained significant but not life-threatening injuries. She received treatment and was released from the hospital. 

Detectives launched an investigation in the aftermath of the shooting, which has since remained active. Over that period, detectives have remained in contact with the victim’s family.

Eventually, investigators identified four documented gang members as suspects in the case. Police obtained arrest warrants related to the murder of Mendoza for each of the suspects.

Police identified two of the suspects: Irvin Yair Gabino, 20, and Alexis Ramirez Carmona, 22, of Santa Maria. The other two suspects, whose identities police are not disclosing, are 19-year-old males who were juveniles at the time of the shooting.

Each of the suspects, except for Carmona, were already in custody for other offenses when police obtained the arrest warrants. Carmona was living in Lake Stevens, Washington. 

Washington authorities and the U.S. Marshals Service assisted Santa Maria police in taking Carmona into custody. Authorities apprehended Carmona in Lake Stevens on Nov. 22. Carmona is currently awaiting extradition back to Santa Barbara County. 

On Monday, officers formally booked Gabino and the two teenage suspects on charges related to the Feb. 2022 incident. All four suspects are charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and gang enhancement violations. Police have forwarded the case to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. 

The Santa Maria Police Department requests that anyone who has information related to the case contact Detective Cole Whitney, at (805) 928-3781 ext. 1329.

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It’s an all American city folks!!!