On Friday, February 4, 2022, at about 11:53 PM, SMPD officers responded to several reports of a shooting that occurred in the parking structure of the Town Center Mall, 120 E. Main Street. Officers quickly arrived on scene where several individuals were contacted, and a shooting was confirmed.
Officers located 17-year-old Alexis Mendoza who sustained fatal gunshot wound injuries and subsequently died as a result. An additional 24-year-old adult female victim also suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wound injuries who was treated and released.
SMPD Detectives and Crime Lab personnel responded to investigate the incident. Detectives took over the investigation that has since been active and ongoing. Detectives have also remained in contact with the victim’s family throughout this investigation.
The ongoing investigation resulted in four documented gang members being identified as suspects in this case and arrest warrants being issued for the murder of Mendoza.
The suspects and Santa Maria residents are Irvin Yair Gabino (20 years-old), Alexis Ramirez Carmona (22 years-old), and two 19-year-old males who were juveniles at the time. All three suspects except for Carmona were already in custody for other crimes. Carmona was out of custody and living in Lake Stevens, WA.
With assistance from the US Marshals Office and Washington authorities Carmona was taken into custody on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, in Lake Stevens, WA. He is awaiting extradition back to Santa Barbara County. Gabino and the other two suspects were formally booked on related charges on Monday, November 27, 2023, here in Santa Barbara County.
All four suspects were booked on murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, and gang enhancement violations. Charges have been filed by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney Office who will be prosecuting the case.
Anyone with information related to this investigation should contact the lead investigator, Detective Cole Whitney, at (805) 928 – 3781 ext. 1329.