Menlo Park man shot, killed when 'illegal transaction' evolves into dispute

Victor Gomez Rios succumbed to his injuries two days later

East Palo Alto police are investigating the city's first homicide case of the year: A Sept. 7 shooting that injured a man who died two days later, police said this week.

The shooting near East Bayshore Road and Pulgas Avenue took place around 8:35 p.m. when the man was allegedly involved in an "illegal transaction" that led to a dispute, which ended when someone shot him, Police Chief Al Pardini wrote in a community update released Wednesday.

The man, identified by the San Mateo County Coroner's Office as 24-year-old Victor Eduardo Gomez Rios of Menlo Park, was transported to a hospital for life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead two days later.

Detectives are investigating the fatal shooting and haven't released a physical description of the alleged shooter, who hadn't been arrested as of Thursday morning, police Cmdr. Jeff Liu said. The shooting doesn't appear to be "a random act of violence."

"We don't believe there's any threat to the general public from this person," Liu said.

The city's last homicide occurred on Dec. 13, 2018, when a man was fatally shot in the 1200 block of Beech Street just blocks away from Martin Luther King Park. It was one of three homicides in 2018. The two others occurred on Oct. 14, when two people were shot and killed during a Halloween party at the rear of a towing business at Pulgas Avenue and Bay Road. No arrests have been announced in any of the three cases.

East Palo Alto police are also investigating a Sept. 14 shooting in which a 42-year-old was shot in the head by his 26-year-old son in a case of mistaken identity. The father was transported to a hospital in stable condition and the son was charged by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office on Monday.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


18 people like this
Posted by laughing
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 19, 2019 at 12:44 pm

[Post removed; there are other forms of illegal transactions, so don't speculate on what crime was committed. If you witnessed the transaction, you should contact the police department.]

20 people like this
Posted by Can you help
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Doesn't matter whether the transaction is legal or not. Someone got upset and escalated the conflict with a gun. Even people who sell items without paying sales tax or fail to report payments to babysitters should be protected from gun violence. Classifying tax cheats and drug users as lower class citizens diminishes us all. Focus should be on getting the shooter off the street.

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

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Gluten-free bakery Misfits Bakehouse is reborn in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 2,719 views

What to do with all those cardboard boxes
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 2,215 views

Premarital and Couples: The "Right" Way to Eat an Artichoke
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,685 views

What did you learn last week?
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 1,077 views

Menlo Park Can Learn A Lot from Palo Alto (Part 1)
By Dana Hendrickson | 3 comments | 829 views


Race Results Are In

Thank you for joining us at the 35th annual Moonlight Run & Walk! All proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday fund, supporting local nonprofits serving children and families.

Click for Race Results