$5,000 reward offered in death of man allegedly killed by ex-girlfriend's dad in Palmdale

The suspect has been on the run since the 2022 shooting, and investigators believe he may have fled to Mexico.

David González Image
Thursday, November 23, 2023
$5,000 reward offered in death of man allegedly killed by ex's dad
The ex-girlfriend's father, Jose Mendoza, has been on the run since the 2022 shooting, and the victim's family has a feeling they might know where he is.

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of 26-year-old Giovannie Gutierrez vows to bring his killer to justice a year after he was fatally shot in Palmdale.

"We will not stop fighting for Giovannie," said his uncle, Max Valadez.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Hugo Reynaga said the alleged killer is Giovannie's ex-girlfriend's father, Jose Guadalupe Mendoza.

"We want justice for G," said Valadez. "We are offering a reward of $5,000 to anyone who provides information and leads to the arrest of the suspect."

Reynaga said on Nov. 21 of last year, Giovannie and his estranged girlfriend got into a verbal argument over her cell phone that ended in a chase and crash on Sierra Highway. He said the victim's ex had called her family for help and her father showed up.

Reynaga said Mendoza shot Gutierrez once in the head before fleeing the scene.

"Jose Mendoza drove to Palmdale Sheriff's Station to turn himself in and waited for approximately 12 minutes in the lobby of the station," said Reynaga. "He walked out of the lobby and has not been seen since."

He said investigators suspect Mendoza may have fled to Mexico.

"The trail went cold, probably immediately after he left that station," said Reynaga.

Authorities believe Mendoza's family may know where he's hiding. They hope the new reward will get them one step closer to getting justice for Giovannie's loved ones.

"I get texts from my sister every day that she says, 'Can you bring me my son back?' That's something that hurts, because of course we can't do that," said Valadez.

LASD is in touch with Mexican authorities as they search for Mendoza.

Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is urged to call them immediately.