The Garner mother slain in a home invasion Jan. 5 died of seven gunshot wounds, mostly to the back, according to an autopsy report from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Maria Saravia Mendoza listed in autopsy records as Maria Isabel Nativi Saravia and her husband Jose Samual Flores Mendoza died from gunshot wounds in the kitchen of their home on Colonial Drive. Their 3-year-old son was in the house, and their 12-year-old son was in a home nearby.
Four the shots hit the womans abdomen from behind, ranging from mid-back to a buttock. One grazed the front of her legs near the pelvis. The others hit the back of her knee and her hand. Her husbands autopsy has yet to be completed and released.
Issrael Vasquez, 16, and his 15-year-old nephew await trial on murder charges. They were arrested by Wake County sheriffs deputies Jan. 23.
Police believe the couple, both Golden Corral kitchen employees, were unintended victims of an escalating war between rival gangs. The two teens, members of the gang Sur 13, targeted David Gonzalez and possibly any family or associates in the attack, according to search warrants. Gonzalez, a member of VDM an acronym for Very Dangerous Mexicans once lived at the Mendozas address.
Vasquez and his nephew have also been charged in a Dec. 4 shooting that wounded Juan Olvera Hernandez in the ankle. Ballistics tests matched distinctive markings found on .45 caliber shell casings from the two shootings. Witnesses said Gonzalez was also the target of the earlier shooting.
A search warrant indicated that a .45 caliber handgun and assault rifle were used to kill the Mendozas. Investigators said they found no evidence that the Mendozas had any enemies.
Gonzalez contacted the sheriffs office a day after the Mendoza murders to say he felt like his life was in danger because of an altercation with Pablo Daniel Reyes, known as Trigger, according to sheriffs investigator E.A. Welch.
Reyes and his brother Moises were also charged in the shooting.
Jahner: 919-829-4822. Thomasi McDonald contributed to this report.