21 years for shooter in Redwood City bar death

A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 21 years in prison for a fatal shooting that occurred during a 2006 Redwood City bar fight that left three people dead.

Domingo Naranjo had previously pleaded no contest to one count of voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm in a felony after fatally shooting Hemerenciano Mendoza, 38.

The bloody melee took place April 14, 2006, at the Headquarters Bar in Redwood City, located at 895 Second Ave.

Another man, 28-year-old Rolando Fernandez, was found guilty July 10 of two counts of second-degree murder. He also was found guilty of two special allegations of using a firearm to cause death.

One of the men killed had been celebrating his 18th birthday.

San Mateo Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said Naranjo and Fernandez had been drinking at the time of the shootings.

“It started over a typical macho thing, some guys getting in the face of another guy,” Wagstaffe said. “Then the guns came out.”

Prosecutors said Fernandez fired at least 15 shots at his victims as they tried to escape the bar. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18.

Fernandez's defense attorney, Leland Davis III, alleged that Naranjo fired first, and that Fernandez fired his gun in self-defense.

During the trial, however, Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini called the defense’s story “absolute bull.”

Giannini said Fernandez killed Humberto Calderon Jr., 18, and Jesus Hernandez, 28, both of Redwood City, “in a relatively brutal and cold-blooded fashion.”

Naranjo was shot in the neck by Fernandez and was arrested after being found at a hospital recovering from his injury, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Three other men at the bar were shot and survived.

Naranjo, Wagstaffe said, has to serve 85 percent of his 21-year sentence, which resulted from a plea bargain.

Fernandez, who rejected an offer and went forward to trial to fight the charges, now faces 80 years to life in prison.

The jury deliberated for less than one day before finding him guilty.

“Fernandez decided to roll the dice, and now he’s facing 80 years to life,” Wagstaffe said. “He gambled and he lost.”

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