Mass shooting shook this small California town. Reward is offered to nab trio of gunmen

A police car with lights on outside a home at night
Police investigate the scene of a mass shooting in King City, Calif., on Sunday.

It took less than half a minute. A silver Kia pulled up to the frontyard of a King City home where a birthday party was underway. Then three men emerged from the car and sprayed bullets into the crowd.

Eleven people were hit, and four of them died.

“It couldn’t have been 20 seconds and it was all over,” said James Hunt, police chief of the Monterey County city. “It was senseless.”

Now, King City is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects who opened fire at the party.


On Sunday, around 6 p.m., police officers responded to a report of shots fired at a residence in the 200 block of North 2nd Street. Eleven people sustained gunshot wounds, and four people — three men and one woman — later died, according to Hunt.

The gunmen, who wore dark-colored clothing and masks, fled after shooting multiple rounds at partygoers.

Seven adults were taken to hospitals in Monterey County. Two of them were in critical condition, and the others had non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Authorities identified those who were slain as King City residents Alicia Ramirez Aparicio, Francisco Aldape Perez and Olivo Perez Pina, all 32, and 42-year-old Mario Guzman Mendoza.

“The murders and shootings that occurred [Sunday] evening were a terrible tragedy for our entire community,” King City Mayor Mike LeBarre said in a statement. “We are heartbroken and share our deepest sympathy with the family and friends of those who were killed by this ruthless act of violence.”

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March 4, 2024

King City, along the Salinas River, has about 14,000 residents, of whom about 85% are Latinos, according to census data. The city is about 130 miles south of San Francisco and 220 miles north of Los Angeles.


The city “is a vegetable center shipping the finest produce grown in the nation,” according to the King City website.

Councilmember Carlos Victoria condemned the shooting in a Monday interview, saying such a mass killing was unprecedented in King City.

“This is a small ... rural community,” he said. “Most of our source of employment is agricultural. It’s just not acceptable. It’s not welcome in our town.”

Hunt described King City as a tight-knit agricultural community that had had some gang issues. Ten years ago, he said, there were a few shootings.

“We still have shootings and we’ll have a homicide here and there,” he said, “but nothing on this scale.”

Hunt noted the $20,000 reward and said that the investigation was a large undertaking for the city’s police.


“For a big city it would be a difficult task at hand,” he said, “but for a small police department, it’s even harder.”

In a news release, the department thanked the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and the Greenfield, Soledad, Seaside, Pacific Grove and Salinas police departments for their help with the investigation.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact King City Police Sgt. Josh Partida at (831) 386-5988 or, or call the WeTip line at (800) 782-7463.

Times staff writer Summer Lin contributed to this report.