Fatal Los Altos shooting possibly motivated by jealousy

Days after the fatal shooting of construction worker Roberto Rivera in a Los Altos backyard, his suspected killer attended a party where he allegedly confessed the crime to a friend, according to court documents released this week. 

Suspect Edgar Geovani Lainez-Portillo of Redwood City told the woman “he had ‘done something bad,’” reported a statement of facts written by Los Altos Police Sgt. Cameron Shearer. “She asked him what he had done, and he replied that he had killed someone.”

Lainez-Portillo, 25, appeared in a San Jose courtroom Wednesday (May 13) and was arraigned on a murder charge with a firearm enhancement, a crime punishable by between 25 years and life imprisonment. Detectives believe he shot Rivera as the 48-year-old Union City resident performed masonry work at a home on the 1000 block of Highlands Circle May 4.

A sport motorcycle and a shared former girlfriend helped police connect Lainez-Portillo and Rivera. The home where the murder took place features a security camera, and surveillance footage captured video of a blue Kawasaki Ninja Zx-69 with gold rims approaching the scene just before the shooting, Shearer wrote. The driver is shown wearing a black jacket, black gloves, a black full-face helmet, black boots and a gray zip-up jacket, and he pulls a handgun out of the jacket just before he leaves the camera’s view.

“The suspect can be heard racking the action back on the handgun as he enters the side yard,” Shearer wrote. “Shortly after, four gunshots are heard.”

Police officers responding to the scene at approximately 10:49 a.m. found Rivera slumped on his knees with gunshot wounds to his back and the head, according to the statement of facts. He died at approximately 11:15 a.m.

In a search of Rivera’s home, detectives discovered a domestic violence report describing an incident between Rivera and an ex-girlfriend, the court documents stated. The ex-girlfriend subsequently led them to Lainez-Portillo, whom she broke up with just days before the shooting. She confirmed he owns a 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle, which police found at his home, along with clothing matching that worn by the suspect in the video surveillance.

The ex-girlfriend told police that although Lainez-Portillo “exhibited jealousy about another boyfriend, he had never expressed any serious jealousy towards victim Rivera,” Shearer wrote.

Lainez-Portillo’s plea hearing is scheduled June 23 in Palo Alto. He is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Jail.


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

May 11Police make arrest in Los Altos murder case

May 4: Reward offered in Los Altos homicide case

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