Local News

December shooting probe led to arrests in Wake couple's deaths

Posted January 25, 2013
Updated March 3, 2013

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

— The arrests this week of two teens in the fatal shooting of a Wake County couple came as investigators were piecing together evidence from an unrelated shooting last month, according to search warrants made public Friday.

The bodies of Jose Samual Flores Mendoza and his wife, Maria Saravia Mendoza, both 34, were found around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 5 at their home at 708 Colonial Drive, near Garner, after a neighbor called 911 when she heard loud noises.

Multiple shell casings from multiple firearms, later determined to be a .45-caliber handgun and an assault rifle, were also found in the home.

Isrrael Vasquez, 16, of 165 Montiseno Drive in Raleigh, and his 15-year-old nephew are each charged with two counts of murder, two counts of felony conspiracy, first-degree burglary and possession of stolen property in the case. Vasquez faces an additional charge of possessing a firearm with an altered or obliterated serial number.

The 15-year-old's name has not been released because he is a juvenile.

Two search warrants were issued on Jan. 15 authorizing searches of Vasquez's and the juvenile's homes in connection with a Dec. 4 shooting on Meadowbrook Road near Garner. According to the warrants, that shooting involved members of rival gangs, Sur13 and VDM.

Vasquez and the juvenile were known members of a local gang, and the girlfriend of a fellow gang member told investigators that one of them shot a VDM member during the Meadowbrook Road altercation, according to warrants. The juvenile's mother also told investigators that her son was out late that night and was dropped off at home by someone in a white Nissan pickup, which warrants state matched the description of the truck Sur13 members fled in after the shooting.

The search of the juvenile's home turned up a .357 Magnum revolver, a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, three 9-millimeter semiautomatic handguns and an M4 semi-automatic rifle, as well as several ammunition magazines, according to one warrant.

Investigators found an Egyptian-made AK-47 and a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun hidden in the attic insulation at Vasquez's house, as well as a variety of ammunition, a second search warrant states.

A third search warrant issued Jan. 22 for another search of Vasquez's home states that the AK-47, which had been stolen in Johnston County, matched evidence taken from the Mendoza home. Neither of the .45-caliber handguns seized in the searches matched the one used in the Mendoza shootings, according to the warrant, so investigators wanted to search Vasquez's home again.

The second search turned up another .45-caliber handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, two sets of brass knuckles, two knives and drug paraphernalia, according to the warrant. There was no indication whether that .45-caliber handgun matched the weapon in the Mendoza case.

A fourth search warrant, which was released Thursday, suggested that a man who lived in the Mendozas' home before they moved in might have been the target of the shooting. The man was a VDM member who was involved in the Meadowbrook Road altercation.


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  • elyhim2 Jan 25, 2013

    I missed the part where it was said they were illegal aliens.

  • Whatthehey Jan 25, 2013

    "I am just not understanding the amt of teens lately committing murder,"
    mom2threecld, these aren't "kids," these are gangbangers & hoodlums that have been committing murders in the big northern cities and LA for decades but have increasingly been pouring into NC and jockeying for turf - they're in our schools, too

  • bill15 Jan 25, 2013

    These kids are obviously master criminals. They are able to crack the combinations to gun safes and trigger locks that safeguarded these semi-automatic weapons. Mere gun laws could not have prevented this. These kids are masterminds that are superior to our laws.

  • sadie1278 Jan 25, 2013

    Runs with wolves: huh? You think that background checks would have prevented these kids from having these guns? They are 16 and 15 year old gang members. I promise you they did not purchase these guns legally, if at all. And that goes back to the point for most on the right: making it harder to buy guns will disarm ONLY law abiding people.

  • mom2threecld Jan 25, 2013

    runswithwolves, drugs are illegal.....there are plenty of those to go around. the gun laws will affect law abiding citizens, not criminals, they will always have a stash, nothing to do about that really, that will never ever be controlled so the honest people need to be able to protect themselves and the gun laws may prevent that

  • mom2threecld Jan 25, 2013

    I am just not understanding the amt of teens lately committing murder, what in the world is wrong with our youth? It is a sad day when anyone is murdered, but its truly more heart wrenching when its kids committing the murders.....what are these parents feeling? so sad. I just pray their kids will have a wonderful home since their parents were stolen from them.

  • cathysnc Jan 25, 2013

    Should be strong back ground checks, but do you think these kids went and purchased these guns legally? Do you think the person they stole them from was liable. Or the people that gave these gang bangers guns, do you think they got them legally. I agree we need some changes but thinking that new gun laws are going to keep the guns out of criminals hands are just ridiculous.

  • yankee1 Jan 25, 2013

    Gee RunsWithWolves exactly how do you think more gun laws would have kept these wonderful folks, already law breakers by their very illegal presence in the country, from getting these guns? Do you really think these people got their guns legally? Really? You're not that far gone are you?

  • apocalyptoconquistador Jan 25, 2013

    Is the AK 47 stolen in Johnson county and the other guns obama/Holder Fast and Furious guns sold to Mexican drug cartels? Since most of these people are illegal aliens, why aren't our immigration Laws being enforced?

  • ICURCRK Jan 25, 2013

    I did some dumb things as a kid, but wow.....