Weekend shootings kill 2 men in Merced

vpatton@mercedsunstar.comDecember 1, 2012 

— Two men are dead after apparently being shot early Saturday morning in the 2200 block of Canal Street, Merced police reported.

Details are preliminary, and police said the motive remains under investigation.

No suspects are in custody.

The Merced County Coroner's Office has identified the victims as Luis Humberto Morales Cruz, 21, and Samuel Mariano, 21, both of Merced.

The incident was reported at 4:25 a.m. Dispatch received a call of a suspicious person brandishing a firearm. Officers went to the scene on Canal Street and found the two victims with gunshot wounds, according to Lt. Tom Trindad.

The bodies were found outdoors, and the men were pronounced dead at the scene, Trindad said.

Nine homicides have been reported in the city of Merced this year. A total of 19 have been reported countywide.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Joe Deliman at (209) 385-6992.

Residents can text a tip to TIP411 (847411) using "comvip" as the first word in the message. Tips are kept confidential, and those providing tips can remain anonymous.

Sun-Star City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsunstar.com.

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