Murder suspect sought in shooting of daughter's ex-boyfriend, 26, after car chase ends in Palmdale

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022 9:18PM
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A father is being sought as a homicide suspect after his daughter's 26-year-old ex-boyfriend was shot and killed in the middle of a road.

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A father is being sought as a homicide suspect after his daughter's 26-year-old ex-boyfriend was shot and killed on a road in Palmdale, during an argument that occurred after the younger man allegedly chased his former girlfriend with his vehicle.

Deputies responded shortly before 5 p.m. Monday to a domestic violence call in the 37000 block of Sierra Highway, where they arrived to find Giovannie Gutierrez unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Gutierrez was transported to a hospital, where he later died.

Detectives say the ex-girlfriend told them that Gutierrez confronted her at her job - a car dealership - and took her cellphone. They arranged to meet nearby and when she got her phone back, Gutierrez tried to break her car mirror so she sped off.

Witnesses said Gutierrez had been in his car, a white Chrysler 300M sedan, and had been chasing his ex-girlfriend who was driving a gray compact car, the Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

During "Gutierrez's pursuit of his ex-girlfriend, the two cars collided at least one time," the statement said, before both vehicles both stopped in the middle of Sierra Highway, north of Avenue S.

Gutierrez then allegedly attempted to force his way into his ex-girlfriend's car as she was seeking help from family members, who had called 911.

"She told us at the time she was inside of her car and Giovannie was trying to get in, was reaching through the window after he had already taken her keys, trying to open the door, trying to pull her out of the car and at some point he had gotten his hands around her throat," sheriff's detective Derrick Alfred said.

As Gutierrez was trying to get into her vehicle, a white Ford Ranger pickup truck arrived at the scene, investigators said.

"A passenger exited the Ford Ranger, approached victim Gutierrez and shot him once in the head," the news release said. "The shooter has been identified as Jose G. Mendoza of Little Rock." Mendoza, 59, is the father of Gutierrez's ex-girlfriend.

Detectives say the woman didn't know her dad would show up.

Surveillance video later showed Mendoza at a sheriff's station, presumably to turn himself in, before he turned around and left. He remained at large Wednesday.

Mendoza is described as Hispanic, with black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. Mendoza is believed to be armed with a semi-automatic handgun and should not be approached, authorities said.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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