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Soledad cousins killed in shooting believed to be a case of mistaken identity, deputies say

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV) -- UPDATE ON FEB. 22, 2024 AT 11:39 AM- In a press conference on Thursday morning, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office released new details on a double murder investigation that resulted in the deaths of two Soledad cousins on Feb. 4

Monterey County Sheriff's Office Investigations Commander Michael Darlington said that the California Highway Patrol received a call on the night of Feb. 4 from a person who claimed that they were being chased by a stolen 2013 Kia Optima.

Deputies revealed the stolen vehicle that the suspects were driving at the time of the crash. Photo courtesy of Calista Silva.

Darlington said that the person told dispatchers they were being chased by "guys with guns inside the vehicle."

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said that 20-year-old Jack Canchola and his cousin 26-year-old Andres "Chavita" Garcia were at a family celebration to celebrate the epiphany.

Investigators said Canchola wanted a breath of fresh air and Garcia accompanied him on a drive to a spot near the Salinas River that Canchola always loved to hang out at.

Deputies said then when they were in the area, they were confronted by multiple suspects and the victims wanted to avoid confrontation.

Darlington said that two vehicles were located just 50 yards off the 41000 block Los Coches Road in a vineyard. One of the car's was the victim's pickup truck and the other vehicle matched the suspect's vehicle which was a light-colored Kia Optima.

Investigators said that the suspects chased the victim's car down and shot them.

Darlington said that they believe this was a case of mistaken identity and both victims did not have a criminal background.

Deputies found Canchola and Garcia next to their vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds. Both men pronounced dead at scene around 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 4. Investigators said that Canchola and Garcia were killed "execution style."

Investigators said that the victims might have taken a turn too fast went off the road into a vineyard.

Family members of both victims did spoke at the press conference.

Miguel Garcia spoke about his brother's kindness and how religion was important in Chavita's life.

"He had a job to do at church and would serve every weekend on Saturday to help the priest," Garcia said. "He would always make donations to the church."

Miguel added his brother went to various church retreats in Los Angeles and showed kindness to his community.

"Every time I wake up and I do not see my brother's clothes outside it breaks my heart," Miguel said. "I can't express this sadness to my mom because my mom will be destroyed."

Miguel said that his brother had an Associate's Degree in agriculture and was set to have an office job related to agriculture engineering next year.

Jesus Canchola revealed his brother was a high-functioning autistic adult and also helped out at the local church

"We would drive to work in the mornings together and back home," Jesus said. "It is really painful to drive the work and not have anybody to listen music with."

Jesus said his brother worked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car as a automotive detailer and studying for a degree in diesel mechanics.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office revealed there is a $10,000 reward for any information on the suspects involved in this murder case. Darlington believes the suspects involved have local ties to the area.

Victims identified in shooting that took place outside of Soledad

UPDATE ON FEB. 13, 2024 AT 11:42 AM- The Monterey County Sheriff's Office have identified the two men who were found shot and killed after reports of a chase in Soledad on Feb. 4.

Deputies identified the victims as 20-year-old Jack Conchola Garcia of Soledad and 26-year-old Andreas Garcia Villanueva of Soledad.

Deputies said that they responded to a report of people being chased in a vehicle at the 41000 block of Los Coches Road just outside of Soledad.

The California Highway Patrol responded and found two men unresponsive at the scene with gunshot wounds. Garcia and Villanueva were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said that they do not have any suspect information at this time. If you have any information, you are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office.

Two men dead after being found shot after reports of chase south of Soledad

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said two men were found shot and later died after there were reports of a chase in the Soledad area on Sunday night.

The sheriff's office said the report came around 6:45 p.m. It was during that time deputies responded to the report of people being chased in a vehicle at the 41000 block of Los Coches Road.

The CHP also responded and investigators found two men unresponsive at the scene with apparent gunshot wounds.

According to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office both didn't survive and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The identity of the men investigators are saying were killed has not been released until family has been notified of their passing.

The sheriff's office said any witnesses are encouraged to contact Detective Arras Wilson 831-597-1225 or Detective Sergeant Nicholas Kennedy 831-755-3773 of the Monterey County Sheriff's Office Investigations Unit..

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the Assistant News Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Derrick Ow

Assignment Editor for KION News Channel 5/46

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Sandra Iveth Santos

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Periodista Multimèdia Bilingüe en Telemundo 23 Costa Central


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