News

Police offer $20K reward in 2018 double homicide, ID alleged shooter

Authorities seek information that leads to arrest, conviction in Halloween party killings

East Palo Alto police have identified Julian Rico Santana as the person who allegedly shot and killed two men during a Halloween party on Oct. 14, 2018.

East Palo Alto police are looking for Julian Rico Santana in connection with a 2018 double homicide. Courtesy East Palo Alto Police Department.

Authorities are seeking the public's help in locating Santana for the deaths of Eduardo Alvarado Sandoval, a 22-year-old Stockton resident, and Mario Andres Vidalesmendez, 23, of East Palo Alto.

On Tuesday, the Police Department announced a $20,000 reward in partnership with Palo Alto-based nonprofit Mothers Against Murder for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect in the double homicide.

Santana, 20, of East Palo Alto, came uninvited to the party, which was held outside the rear of a business in the 2500 block of Pulgas Avenue near Bay Road, police said. He allegedly became involved in a dispute that incited a physical altercation and shot four people before he fled the scene, according to police.

Police received a ShotSpotter activation at about 2:44 a.m. and 911 calls reporting the shooting. Officers found four people with gunshot wounds. Sandoval and Vidalesmendez died at the scene and the other two were transported by emergency response crews to nearby hospitals with life-threatening injuries.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

Santana is described as being 5 feet and 10 inches tall, weighing 240 pounds and having black hair and brown eyes. People who see Santana are warned not to confront him but to call the police and wait for them to arrive, police said.

The $20,000 reward is an increase from a $5,000 reward Mothers Against Murder previously offered to find the shooter in April 2019.

"He's nowhere to be found for two years now, leaving families of his violence in a lot of pain and desperate for justice," Margaret Petros, executive director of Mothers Against Murder, said in a separate statement.

"Remember, the milestone that the City of EPA had reached of zero murders in 2017 and through 2018, until Julian, a young man with a gun brought so much damage and pain to four young men and ruined his life in (a) few moments of anger."

Veronica Sandoval, the mother of Eduardo Sandoval, previously asked for the community to help find her son's alleged killer. In a Dec. 1 video, she begged for the public's help.

"Oct. 14, 2018, the last day I saw my living son. That day our lives changed forever, as a mother, every member of my family and anyone else's hearts that in some way were touched by my son.

Based in Palo Alto, Mothers Against Murder advocates for families of murder victims and works to ensure the rights of homicide victims within the criminal justice system since 2003.

Anyone who might have witnessed the shootings or has any knowledge of this incident is urged to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department by calling Detective Aleyda Romero at 650-853-7249. Anonymous tips can be made by email to [email protected] or text or voicemail to 650-409-6792.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Police offer $20K reward in 2018 double homicide, ID alleged shooter

Authorities seek information that leads to arrest, conviction in Halloween party killings

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 11:46 am
Updated: Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 2:50 pm

East Palo Alto police have identified Julian Rico Santana as the person who allegedly shot and killed two men during a Halloween party on Oct. 14, 2018.

Authorities are seeking the public's help in locating Santana for the deaths of Eduardo Alvarado Sandoval, a 22-year-old Stockton resident, and Mario Andres Vidalesmendez, 23, of East Palo Alto.

On Tuesday, the Police Department announced a $20,000 reward in partnership with Palo Alto-based nonprofit Mothers Against Murder for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect in the double homicide.

Santana, 20, of East Palo Alto, came uninvited to the party, which was held outside the rear of a business in the 2500 block of Pulgas Avenue near Bay Road, police said. He allegedly became involved in a dispute that incited a physical altercation and shot four people before he fled the scene, according to police.

Police received a ShotSpotter activation at about 2:44 a.m. and 911 calls reporting the shooting. Officers found four people with gunshot wounds. Sandoval and Vidalesmendez died at the scene and the other two were transported by emergency response crews to nearby hospitals with life-threatening injuries.

Santana is described as being 5 feet and 10 inches tall, weighing 240 pounds and having black hair and brown eyes. People who see Santana are warned not to confront him but to call the police and wait for them to arrive, police said.

The $20,000 reward is an increase from a $5,000 reward Mothers Against Murder previously offered to find the shooter in April 2019.

"He's nowhere to be found for two years now, leaving families of his violence in a lot of pain and desperate for justice," Margaret Petros, executive director of Mothers Against Murder, said in a separate statement.

"Remember, the milestone that the City of EPA had reached of zero murders in 2017 and through 2018, until Julian, a young man with a gun brought so much damage and pain to four young men and ruined his life in (a) few moments of anger."

Veronica Sandoval, the mother of Eduardo Sandoval, previously asked for the community to help find her son's alleged killer. In a Dec. 1 video, she begged for the public's help.

"Oct. 14, 2018, the last day I saw my living son. That day our lives changed forever, as a mother, every member of my family and anyone else's hearts that in some way were touched by my son.

Based in Palo Alto, Mothers Against Murder advocates for families of murder victims and works to ensure the rights of homicide victims within the criminal justice system since 2003.

Anyone who might have witnessed the shootings or has any knowledge of this incident is urged to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department by calling Detective Aleyda Romero at 650-853-7249. Anonymous tips can be made by email to [email protected] or text or voicemail to 650-409-6792.

Comments

Juan
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Juan , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 12:11 pm
11 people like this

You guys are posting this reward and the police can’t 100% tell you if he was the actual shooter or not this is sad take this down


Sue Dremann
Registered user
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Dec 1, 2020 at 5:35 pm
Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 5:35 pm
15 people like this

Hi Juan,
People are “alleged” to have committed crimes until they are proven guilty in a court of law and a jury determines they are the perpetrator.
That said, the police investigation would presumably have some reason or evidence to be naming this person as a “suspect” after two years. Police don’t have to say they are 100% sure to name someone a “suspect.”
A person who is suspected can also step forward to clear his or her name or to offer information to resolve these crimes.
The reward is so the community will hopefully help with information to find the person who is suspected of these crimes. Solving these crimes will also bring some closure to the victims’ families who are hurting greatly.


Whatever
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm
Whatever, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm
7 people like this

Where is the community police force?


Optimist Pessimist Realist
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Optimist Pessimist Realist , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Like this comment

Whatever, what exactly do you mean?


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 1, 2020 at 9:22 pm
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 9:22 pm
16 people like this

Optimist, he’s referring to all the “defund” types who are quick to comment how eager they are to form a community police force to replace cops. They likely haven’t been in so much as a fist fight, but think they can easily collar a murderer, esp if he resists.


Whatever
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:33 am
Whatever, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:33 am
6 people like this

How is the community police investigation coming along?


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:34 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:34 am
4 people like this

I think these bounties are racist. Do Roger Smith and his white friends put similar bounties on white people accused of crimes? Wasn’t he also the person behind the arguably racist renovation of Lytton Plaza in 2009?


Green Gables
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 2, 2020 at 11:43 am
Green Gables, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 11:43 am
3 people like this

What was racist about the Lytton Plaza renovation?


Name hidden
Downtown North

Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 1:49 pm
Name hidden, Downtown North

Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 1:49 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Anonymous
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Dec 6, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Anonymous , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2020 at 12:49 pm
10 people like this

if they're going to report about this at least get the facts straight. He was invited as far as we know he grew up with the fam of the birthday girl and it was not an adult party most of us weren't even 21, some were even teens at the time and getting wasted. Cant take someones word for it especially since dam near all of us were drunk.. Just trying to cover up for the guy aka father of birthday girl that owns the property where this unsupervised party took place from what I saw shady stuff man


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.