Police make three arrests in Kearns shooting

Suspects allegedly planned to rob the victim.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Police investigate a shooting in Kearns in an LDS church parking lot, where one person was killer and two were injured, on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Unified Police have arrested three suspects in the shooting death of a man in Kearns.

Alonso Gerardo Garcia-Mendoza, 32, of Kearns, was killed shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday in a shooting behind a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 5305 W. 5400 South. Two other people were injured in the shooting.

Sgt. Melody Cutler said on Friday that three people had been arrested, one adult and two minors.

Police said in a probable cause statement for the adult suspect that the suspect and three other male suspects wanted to rob Garcia-Mendoza after a “drug transaction ruse.” Several witnesses told police that the adult suspect “lured” Garcia-Mendoza to the parking lot where he was confronted by the adult suspect and another male suspect, both of whom fired guns into Garcia-Mendoza’s car. The adult suspect then fled on foot, but was later seen returning to the area on surveillance footage.

Garcia-Mendoza was found with a large sum of money in his car, according to the probable cause statement.

Police are asking that the adult suspect be held without bail.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects in criminal investigations until they are charged.