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California Man Wanted for Fatally Shooting Daughter’s Ex-Boyfriend Following Domestic Violence Report and Car Chase

mug shot of Jose Mendoza

Jose G. Mendoza, 59, is accused of fatally shooting his daughter’s ex-boyfriend, Giovannie Gutierrez.

A murder suspect who police say fatally shot his daughter’s ex-boyfriend during the aftermath of a car chase in Southern California is on the lam.

Jose G. Mendoza, 59, shot 26-year-old Giovannie Gutierrez on Monday in the city of Palmdale after arriving at a two-car collision involving Gutierrez and Mendoza’s daughter, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A press release issued Tuesday warns that Mendoza is believed to be armed with a semi-automatic handgun “and should not be approached.”

Sheriff’s deputies responding to a domestic violence report Monday about 4:47 p.m. found Gutierrez lying unresponsive in the middle of a highway with a gunshot wound to his head. Witnesses described a wild scene: Gutierrez was driving a white Chrysler 300M sedan, chasing “a gray compact car” driven by his ex-girlfriend, the sheriff’s department said.

The cars collided “at least one time,” then stopped in the middle of the 37300 block of Sierra Highway, where Gutierrez “attempted to force entry into his ex-girlfriend’s car as she was seeking help from family members who had called 9-1-1,” according to the release.

A man police identified as Mendoza arrived a short while later in a white Ford Ranger pick-up and shot Gutierrez in the head, the release said.

Mendoza lives in the small town of Littlerock, California, about 10 miles from Palmdale in northeast Los Angeles County. He’s described as Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes, 5-foot-6 and 140 pounds.

Investigators ask anyone with information about him or the shooting to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or through the Crime Stoppers app.

(Image: photo via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

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A graduate of the University of Oregon, Meghann worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho, before moving to California in 2013 to work at the Orange County Register. She spent four years as a litigation reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one year as a California-based editor and reporter for and associated publications such as The National Law Journal and New York Law Journal before joining Law & Crime News. Meghann has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Bloomberg Law, ABA Journal, The Forward, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Laguna Beach Independent. Her Twitter coverage of federal court hearings in a lawsuit over homelessness in Los Angeles placed 1st in the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Journalist in 2021. An article she freelanced for Los Angeles Times Community News about a debate among federal judges regarding the safety of jury trials during COVID also placed 1st in the Orange County Press Club Awards for Best Pandemic News Story in 2021.