Sheriff identifies father and son as victims of pot grow site shooting

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has identified a father and son who lived at a previously large marijuana grow site as the victims of a deadly shooting at a California Valley home on Monday.

Shortly before noon, sheriff’s deputies found Edward Chavez Mendoza, 70, and Edmundo Eduardo Mendoza Jr., 37, dead inside their home at 12625 Arrow Bear Trail at approximately 11. The location is near Soda Lake in the Carrizo Plain. A gun was found lying near the bodies.

No arrests have been made, and the motive for the shooting remains unclear. However, sheriff’s officials say there do not appear to be any outstanding suspects.

At one time, the property where the shooting occurred contained one of the largest marijuana grows in California Valley with approximately 500 plants, according to the sheriff’s office. Edward Mendoza was registered as being the owner of a 280-plant grow, as well as a mobile home at the location.

Some pot farmers had recently been scaling back their marijuana cultivation after the SLO County Board of Supervisors passed anordinance banning pot grows in the California Valley. Even so, many of the growers in the area recently planted crops in violation of the county ordinance.

The shooting marked sheriff’s deputies’ ninth response to the home since 2012. Four calls involved a person with mental illness causing a disturbance, and three incidents resulted in authorities taking someone into protective custody for a mental health evaluation.

California’s cannabis farmers are currently growing about eight times the amount of pot people in California consume, according to a Los Angeles Times report. As a result, many growers have been unable to sell their crops and some have failed to pay their farm hands. This has led to multiple physical and verbal altercations.

Autopsies for both of the shooting victims are scheduled for Wednesday.