Suspect arrested in MTM shooting death

Juan Faisao Mendiola

Guam Police have arrested 56-year-old Juan Faisao Mendiola who is accused in the fatal shooting of  Peter John Rios Jr.  on Monday in Mongmong.

Rios’ family made an emotional plea on Facebook asking for justice in his death and information on his murder.

The motive behind the shooting appears to involve a woman who was previously intimate with Mendiola.

According to witnesses, Mendiola arrived at the apartment which belonged to the woman with the intent to take the woman fishing but after Mendiola knocked on the door several times and was refused entry by Rios, Mendiola grabbed a gun from his vehicle. Mendiola told police that he did so because he was afraid of Rios as Rios was “violent, younger, bigger and stronger” than him.

Court documents state that a witness who visited the apartment that morning told police that she and Mendiola exchanged hellos before she entered the apartment. She told police while she was inside the bedroom she heard Mendiola and Rios shouting and arguing with each other in the living room. Mendiola was armed with a gun and Rios was armed with a knife.

“She stated she yelled at them to stop, but they ignored her and Mendiola shot Rios on his chest with the gun.” Court documents further stated, “Rios dropped the knife and held the area where he was shot, then took a step back and dropped his hand, and she saw blood “come out” from the wound. She told officers she panicked and ran out of the apartment unit and down the stairs. As she ran, she heard Mendiola say, “I told you not to mess {sic} with me!” and heard another gunshot.”

Mendiola shot Rios in the torso, according to police.

Neighbors reported hearing two gunshots and seeing a woman run frantically from the apartment and down the street.

Police initially arrived at the scene on JA Camacho street on Monday shortly after 7 am, responding to an injured person report.

Authorities were seen entering an apartment on the second floor of the Taitano Apartments in Mongmong.

GPD Spokesman Sgt Paul Tapao says the investigation pointed them in the direction of Mendiola. Mendiola was charged with murder and aggravated assault both with the special allegation of use of a deadly weapon. He is also accused of destroying evidence.

“Does that indicate that he got rid of the gun? That one I was not given the information. That’s just the charges of Mr. Mendiola and I believe as we go into due process, we’ll forward the opportunity for him to address and explain the charges that were brought forth by our detectives,” Tapao said.

Police also arrested Mendiola’s wife, Mary Chargualaf Mendiola, for hindering apprehension.

“So when Mr. Mendiola was apprehended yesterday by our officers from the Special Operations Division, his wife Mary Chargualaf Mendiola was also located within his presence and so she was charged for hindering apprehension,” Tapao said.

With Mendiola behind bars, family members are mourning Rios’s death.