News


Palo Alto teen arrested for Redwood City killing

Police say 17-year-old from Palo Alto is one of two suspects arrested Monday

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.

-- Bay City News and Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Paly or Gunn?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Was the killer a student at Paly or Gunn?


Like this comment
Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Dec 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

There was no information about his student status in the press release from the Redwood City police or in the Bay City News Service story. We plan to query on that Thursday morning.


Like this comment
Posted by cora
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I don't think this person spent too much time at school. Paly and Gunn are not known for turning out murderers.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2010 at 12:00 am

@Cora, they may not be known for it...but it's happened before, hopefully not again.


Like this comment
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

Back in the mid-80s there was a guy from Paly who was also a Boy Scout & who murdered a vagrant in a park. Not sure if it occurred in PA, but definitely a PA student.


Like this comment
Posted by PAPD-Critic
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

Jay,

Alleged "Killer" I'm surprised you did nothing to correct this earlier post as a seasoned alleged news paper reporter with years of experience (Palo Alto Times). Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I wait the removal of this post...by you.


Like this comment
Posted by George K.
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

PAPD-Critic:

Unless I'm misunderstanding your post, I'm surprised that as a seasoned commenter you consider it the paper's job to edit outside comments.


Like this comment
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

PAPD-Critic:
You are confused. Someone not a member of the justice system or the media is allowed to say "killer" all they want without "alleged." We are allowed bias unless we are called to serve on a jury. This does bring up an interesting point, however. Once comments are attached to an online news article, do they become part of the news? and therefore subject to the same ethical guidelines?


Like this comment
Posted by PAPD-Critic
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Posted by ChrisC, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, 28 minutes ago

The editor of this "BLOG" will without notice delete your post with or without cause or remove portions, all without a trace. Jay is favors censorship to fit the story line. Thus, it no longer becomes apart of the story / news. Watch...this see PaloAltoFreePress.com


Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm

@Chris-
The young man you are referring to had already graduated from Paly and was attending a military prep academy in Santa Barbara which is where the killing took place. He was a model citizen while living in Palo Alto and something went horribly wrong in Santa Barbara.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Midland
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

In my opinion, I could care less which high school this alleged murderer attended. I'm more concerned about what his parents were doing as he became, allegedly, involved with a violent street gang. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Too many excuses being made, too much enabling to be had, and not enough holding people accountable for their actions. It should start at home with respecting hard work, placing a value in education, rejecting alcohol and substance abuse, rejecting this thug lifestyle, and simply respecting other people and their property.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

So let me put it this way - people in Palo Alto do commit murders. The boy - former boy scout - that committed the murder in Santa Barbara wasn't a nice kid - I knew him. It wasn't Santa Barbara that caused the murder, it was the murderer. This attitude that Palo Altans are sacred and beyond reproach is just ridiculous - human frailty, weakness, greed, violence - and of course denial - exist in Palo Alto just like anywhere else, say...EPA. Of course, we have higher crime rates, which serve as a constant reminder that we are all fallible, no matter where we live.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

JustMe is a registered user.

Perhaps I missed something, but I didn't notice anyone claiming that Palo Altans were perfect, and if I had seen such a claim, I would have attributed it to the poster's rampant imperfection.

No, Palo Altans are not perfect, and we do not claim to be. No matter where you draw a line along geographic boundaries, ethnicity, religous beliefs, gender, or any other similar humanity-divider, you will always find that neither side of that line has a lock on any vice or crime, or lack thereof. It would be foolish to make such a claim, but that kind of claim is what bigotry is all about, right?

You can easily draw lines through humanity and see higher instances of behavior, both good and bad, on one side or the other, and it is our job to try to blur those differences by boosting the good behavior or supressing the bad behavior as needed, and we can try to guess at the forces that cause such disparity so that we can try to address those forces. But you will never remove either all the evil or the good from any segment of humanity.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

JustMe - I was referring to Sean's comment re David Kurtzman having been a model PA citizen until he went to Santa Barbara. I also was referring to the overall tone that I constantly read on these threads, which I attribute to Palo Alto smugness. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm

JustMe is a registered user.

Hmmmm, The BTK killer was also a model citizen and churchgoer, until it was discovered that he had a previously-unknown hobby. It just goes to show that people are not always what they seem. You judge people by what you know about them, not what you don't know. That kid was "a model citizen" based on what people knew at the time, that's all.

As for smugness in the posters you see here from PA, are you sure that is not just something you are reading into their posts? Perhaps you should examine your basis for that judgement.


Like this comment
Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Dec 3, 2010 at 10:23 am

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

PAPD-Critic --

Editing of Town Square is done by any one of our editors and not just by Jay.

Content is removed when it is: libelous, baiting, racist, threatening, obscene or serves no useful purpose other than to incite.

Posters are often passionate about their views and do sometimes cross the line, however well intentioned.




Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2010 at 11:47 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Nope, JustMe, lots of smugness on these threads about PA & PA residents. It's noticed by many people. People make PA jokes frequently. I spent many, many years living in PA & the smugness is very common. It reinforces a lot of denial, & hides a lot of the problems, w/tragic results, such as the high suicide rate & claims of "model citizens" because really, that's an empty moniker. You're right - we judge on what we know, not on what we don't know. That's what's stupid about saying someone, especially a kid, is a "model citizen" & then while still a teen, he commits murders. Then there's the troublemaker kid whose behavior gets increasingly bad & then when they do something newsworthy-bad, people are not surprised.

In this latest killing, I'm glad no one else was hurt, since a lot of people were involved. So cowardly - what, six guys against one? And gang members consider themselves brave & tough? Ridiculous. It reminds me a little of the "Addison Avenue Gang" in the 90s.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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