Local News

Autopsy: Garner man shot 16 times in home invasion

Posted November 13, 2013
Updated November 18, 2013

Jose Samual Flores Mendoza, left, and his wife, Maria Saravia Mendoza, both 34, were fatally shot inside their home on Jan. 5, 2013.
Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A Garner man who was killed along with his wife during a home invasion 10 months ago was shot 16 times, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Jose Samual Flores Mendoza, 34, of 708 Colonial Drive, suffered several gunshot wounds to his head, chest and torso, the report stated.

Mendoza's wife, Maria Saravia Mendoza, 34, was also killed in the Jan. 5 attack, when she was shot seven times.

Investigators have said the couple were unintended victims of a dispute between two rival gangs and that the target had lived in the house in 2011 prior to the Mendozas moving there.

According to search warrants in the case, deputies found Maria Mendoza dead in the kitchen and her husband dead on the couch. The couple's 3-year-old son was also found in the home but was not physically harmed.

An investigative report accompanying the autopsy said Jose Mendoza had just gotten off work at his job at Golden Corral, had undressed and sat down on his couch to eat when someone kicked in the door and began shooting.

Investigators found throughout the home dozens of shell casings from a .45 caliber handgun and a 7.62mm rifle, which helped them link the crime to two teenagers who were arrested in the case, according to search warrants.

Isrrael Vasquez, 16, and Jonathan Santillan, 15, are awaiting trial on multiple charges, including two counts each of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and one count of first-degree burglary.

During a probable cause hearing in May, a witness testified that the teens, wearing hair nets, masks and gloves, kicked in the door of the Mendozas' home and shot them with an AK-47 and a handgun.

17 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • pageredmon Nov 25, 2013

    Who would keep an AK next to them on the sofa with a 3 year old roaming the house, rocket? Would you carry the AK where ever you went in the house, just inches from you at all times? Wow, rocket, you seem to be a bit paranoid about random door-kicking-in-shootings.

  • Ex-Republican Nov 15, 2013

    Hard working man gets off his shift from a hard job and goes home to eat and relax. He's just minding his own business. All of a sudden some human trash burst into his home and violently murder he and his wife. That leaves me with just two words to say:

    DEATH PENALTY.

  • Offshore Nov 15, 2013

    "While I agree with being armed, you have to be real. It would not have helped you in this situation. Your sitting on the couch and a guy kicks in the door with an AK? Come'on."

    What if my AK is next to me on the couch?
    rocket

    Are you familiar with the phrase "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"? You'd be too slow. As for the penalty to fit the crime, if they want to play with the big boys then they should be tried like them. I say treat them like adults.

  • rocket Nov 15, 2013

    "While I agree with being armed, you have to be real. It would not have helped you in this situation. Your sitting on the couch and a guy kicks in the door with an AK? Come'on."

    What if my AK is next to me on the couch?

  • rocket Nov 15, 2013

    "I have nothing against owning a gun but I don't see how having one would have helped unless you were walking around the house with it. If someone busts your door open and starts shooting you aren't going to have time to do anything. Thinking that owning a gun makes a difference in home invasions is not realistic."

    At least you give yourself a chance. Alarm systems and dogs make good early warning systems so you can be alerted before a potential criminal makes it into your home. Seems your anti gun views are skewing your perception of what is realistic and what isn't.

  • joeBob Nov 14, 2013

    No punishment severe enough to fit the crime.

  • CharmedLife Nov 14, 2013

    The person(s) they were looking for lived there back in 2011....maybe they should have done their homework before just busting in someone's home. Oh, sorry, I said homework. Maybe had they been home in their rooms doing actual school homework instead of dealing in with gangs this wouldn't have happened.

  • dwntwnboy2 Nov 14, 2013

    "the two teens will live out the rest of their lives in our comfortable prison system"- obviously your definition of "comfortable" and mine vary greatly. I will take my meager income and the ability to come and go as I please as opposed to the "comforts" of prison.

  • lopo Nov 14, 2013

    This is what these gangs do, they carry these weapons and have no problem killing anyone that gets in their way. And the NAACP rev Barber is concerned with law enforcement and so called street justice. How about the justice for those who are murdered?

  • EricaSliver Nov 14, 2013

    This is beyond horrendous and tragic. Now that child has to grow up without his parents for no reason. And the two teens will live out the rest of their lives in our comfortable prison system.

More...