Alleged MS-13 gang member sentenced to 25 years for fatal shooting of Kansas City teen

A 19-year-old man was sentenced this week for his role in the 2022 fatal shooting of a Kansas City teenager.

Alexis Menjivar was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting death of 17-year-old Johan Sarmiento-Peralta, according to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December.

On Aug. 4, 2022, Sarmiento-Peralta went to watch a soccer game with his girlfriend and a family member in the area of 9th Street and Van Brunt Boulevard.

Menjivar and Kennedy Lopez-Maderos, both 18 at the time and alleged members of the transnational crime organization MS-13, confronted the teen because they believed he was wearing a shirt that represented a rival gang, according to court records.

Lopez-Maderos was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. His trial is scheduled for March 18 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

According to court records, a group of four men approached Sarmiento-Peralta and asked if the shirt he was wearing with a number “8” meant that he was a part of the rival 18th Street gang.

After Sarmiento-Peralta denied being in a gang, the men told him to take off his shirt, and he refused, court records say.

Witnesses told police the men returned to their truck and made phone calls before leaving. About 10 minutes later, around a dozen men returned in three vehicles, including Menjavar and Lopez-Maderos, witnesses told police.

The pair allegedly confronted Sarmiento-Peralta, who was in the vehicle he arrived in. Once again, the teen refused to remove his shirt, allegedly leading Lopez-Maderos to punch Sarmiento-Peralta.

Witnesses told police Menjivar then handed a black handgun to Lopez-Maderos, who allegedly shot Sarmiento-Peralta once in the head before all the men fled the area.

The teen was pronounced dead days later at a hospital.

Bill Lukitsch contributed reporting.