San Luis Obispo County’s coroner has ruled that a California Valley man shot and killed his father, then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. The murder-suicide occurred late last month at a property that previously contained a large marijuana grow.
Shortly before noon on Jan. 29, SLO County Sheriff’s deputies found Edward Chavez Mendoza, 70, and Edmundo Eduardo Mendoza Jr., 37, dead inside their home at 1265 Arrow Bear Trial. A gun was found lying near the bodies.
Edward Mendoza died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, and his death is listed as a homicide, according to the sheriff’s Office. Edmundo Mendoza died of a single gunshot wound to the head, and his death is listed as a suicide.
At one time, the property, which is located near Soda Lake in the Carrizo Plain, contained one of the largest marijuana grows in the California Valley with approximately 500 plants. 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 an ordinance 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 murder-suicide marked sheriff’s deputies ninth response to the California Valley 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.
Last year, California’s cannabis farmers grew 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. Issues that have led to multiple physical and verbal altercations.
Sheriff’s officials have not released any additional details about the murder-suicide.