Mario Cazares, 17, of Palo Alto was one of two persons charged with murder Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 1) in San Mateo County Superior Court on suspicion of being involved in a gang-related killing Sunday night in Redwood City.
Also charged with murder was Michael Elijah Rodriguez, 18, of Redwood City, according to Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who said Cazares is being charged as an adult.
They are accused of being involved in the shooting of 21-year-old Julio Pantoja Cuevas, who was shot and killed about 8 p.m. Sunday in Redwood City, police said.
Both declined to enter pleas Wednesday and requested court-appointed attorneys. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8, Wagstaffe said.
Police arrested Cazares at his home on Midtown Court in Palo Alto just before noon Monday. Officers also searched the house, according to a police statement.
Police earlier arrested Rodriguez as he was leaving his home in Redwood City at about 8:45 a.m. Monday, police said.
The shooting is being investigated as a gang-related incident, though the shooter's motive is unknown at this time, police said. The investigation is ongoing. Wagstaffe said the suspects were shouting out that they were members of the Nortenos gang as they confronted the victim.
Investigators believe five to eight people participated in the murder and are continuing to search for more suspects, police said.
Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 400 block of Madison Avenue in Redwood City at about 8 p.m. Sunday. They found Cuevas with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police were seeking between three and six Hispanic males in connection with the homicide, all in their late teens or early 20s. Anyone with information is asked to call the Redwood City Police Department at 650-780-7100.