Los Altos charity pledges $20K for homicide info

Updated 12:28 p.m. Jan. 28

A Los Altos nonprofit organization is offering $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for killing a man in a Palo Alto parking lot last week. 

“It’s about really being fed up with this level of violence in our community,” said Margaret Petros, executive director of Mothers Against Murder. “It’s tragic, senseless. A 50-year-old man has been killed.”

Palo Alto Police

Petros’ charity, which advocates for the families of murdered victims, hopes to help Palo Alto Police detectives locate the killer of 52-year-old Armando Montelongo Espinoza of San Jose, who died after suffering gunshot wounds on the 700 block of San Antonio Road the morning of Jan. 21, according to a police department press release.

The victim called the Palo Alto Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch center at 3:02 a.m. Jan. 21 to report the shooting, the release stated. Officers who arrived on scene discovered him lying alone in a parking lot with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Palo Alto Fire Department paramedics transported him to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery, but he succumbed to his injuries.

“We prayed he would survive, and a few hours later, he died,” Petros said, adding that Mothers Against Murder co-founder Roger Smith and his wife, as well as board members of the organization, pledged the reward money themselves.

“At this point, there is no motive for the case,” according to the release. It does not specify whether police seek a single suspect or multiple suspects, and it does not provide a description of anyone involved in the incident.

The incident occurred near where San Antonio Road intersects with East Charleston Road and Leghorn Street on the border of Mountain View, and it caused a temporary shutdown of eastbound, morning rush-hour traffic as detectives investigated.

Petros said her organization is confident the police will catch Espinoza’s killer.

“People talk,” she said. “They brag about it to their friends.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police department at 329-2413. Anonymous tips may be directed by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by text or voicemail to 383-8984 or via the department’s mobile app, downloadable at or

Learn more about Mothers Against Murder by visiting or by calling the organization at 248-9529.

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