2nd murder victim also a Sequoia grad

Mario Vidales Mendez was one of two men shot to death at a party in East Palo Alto. Photo from his family’s GoFundMe page.

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

A Redwood City man was identified by the San Mateo County Coroner yesterday (Oct. 16) as the second man who was shot to death at a 21st birthday party at the A1 Auto Services and Towing lot in East Palo Alto.

Mario Vidales Mendez, 23, was killed early Sunday (Oct. 14) morning when a man opened fire during a fight at the party. Eduardo “Lalo” Alvarado Sandoval, 22, of Stockton, was also killed.

Their assailant is still at large.

Like Sandoval, Vidales Mendez was a Sequoia High School graduate. Mendez’s sister, Leslie Gonzalez, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of his burial.

“Thank you to all who are donating to help me and my family put my brother to rest after a horrible turn of events on Sunday morning where a person decided to take manners into his own hands and take the life of my happy, loving (and) caring big brother,” Gonzalez wrote on the GoFundMe page.

East Palo Alto police have not yet arrested the assailant, or released any further information on the incident. San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said yesterday that police have not requested an arrest warrant yet, but knows that police are chasing down leads, such as reviewing the security camera footage from nearby businesses.

The shooting occurred after a fight broke out at a party hosted by A1 Auto Services and Towing owner Pablo Arias’ daughter, who was celebrating her 21st birthday.

Police learned of the shooting at 2:44 a.m., from their ShotSpotter system, which picks up the sound of gunfire in the city and triangulates the location.

Police said they were on the scene in less than two minutes and found four victims suffering from gunshot wounds. In addition to the two men who were shot dead, two others were seriously wounded.

One was the boyfriend of Arias’ daughter. Arias said on Monday that the boyfriend, who was initially in critical condition, was doing better. The other man is in stable condition, according to East Palo Alto Cmdr. Jeff Liu.

Liu said there is no indication that the shooting was gang-related, but appears to be simply a fight.

Sunday’s shooting was the first homicide to occur in public in East Palo Alto since June 10, 2016. A murder-suicide occurred in East Palo Alto on Dec. 13 inside a home.

Those interested in contributing to Sandoval or Vidales Mendez’ campaigns can go to: www.gofundme.com/celebratelalo and www.gofundme.com/mario-a-vidales

Anyone with information about the case urged to contact the police by:

• Calling Detective Lydia Cardoza at (650) 853-7249

• Sending an anonymous email to epa@tipnow.org

• Sending an anonymous text to (650) 409-6792

• Or leaving an anonymous voicemail by calling (650) 409-6792