Reward offered in Los Altos homicide case

Highlands shooting
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Police Department officers work the scene of a homicide on Highlands Circle Monday afternoon.

Mothers Against Murder, in collaboration with the Los Altos Police Department, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing Roberto Rivera, the 48-year-old Union City resident shot to death Monday (May 4) in a Los Altos backyard. 

A press release announcing the reward states the suspect may have fled the scene on a motorcycle, but it does not provide a description of the suspect – not even the person’s sex. The police department has remained close-lipped about the investigation. Another press release issued Wednesday revealed Rivera’s identity and city of residence but little else.

“This is an active investigation and no further details will be released at this time,” the Wednesday press release stated.

Law enforcement officials responded to the 1000 block of Highlands Circle at approximately 10:55 a.m. Monday, according to police, and found Rivera in the backyard of a home. The officers offered medical assistance until Santa Clara County Fire Department personnel arrived and pronounced him deceased at 11:15 a.m.

Roberto Rivera

A contractor working at a home nearby heard gunshots at approximately 10:30 a.m., followed by the rumbling sound of a motorcycle. He said the house where the incident took place had just been completed last month, the residents had recently moved in and landscapers were working on the yard.

“A man ran from the scene,” said the contractor, who asked to remain anonymous. “He was kind of freaked out and said, ‘Someone I was working with was shot! He was shot! He was shot!’”

The contractor offered the new residents – a husband, wife and three children – shelter on the porch of his work site while police investigated the scene. He said he gave them water and snacks.

Residents throughout the neighborhood, including on Robinhood Lane and Kent Drive, reported hearing the gunshots.

“At first, we didn’t know what it was, and I asked the person putting up the (crime scene) tape if we needed to be evacuated because of a gas explosion, and he said, ‘No, nothing like that,’” said one Kent Drive neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

“I was working from home (Robinhood Lane) with the window open at exactly 10:49 a.m., I heard (what I perceived as) approximately 5 gunshots coming from the south (towards Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve),” one man wrote in a Nextdoor post to the Town Crier. “Maybe 10 minutes later that was followed up with police activity all around the Woodland Acres/ Highlands area.”

“This is a very quiet neighborhood, especially right now,” a woman told the Town Crier via Twitter. “We really know each other and are close-knit.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Cameron Shearer of the Los Altos Police Department Investigative Services Division at 947-2770. Individuals who wish to remain anonymous may call the police department’s tip line at 947-2774. Anonymous tips may be eligible for a cash reward when submitted to Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at or via the P3 Tips mobile app. The police department warns members of the public against attempting to apprehend the suspect themselves.

Town Crier staff reporter Melissa Hartman contributed to this report.


June 25: Memorial fund established for children of man murdered in Los Altos

May 14: Fatal Los Altos shooting possibly motivated by jealousy

May 11Police make arrest in Los Altos murder case

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