A man died after he was severely beaten early Monday morning in southeast Merced.
The victim's identity hasn't been released, pending notification of his family or next-of-kin by the coroner's office.
Witnesses told police that seven to 14 suspects approached the victim and his adult son in the 300 block of East 15th St., said Lt. Tom Trindad of the Merced Police Department. Both men were in separate cars parked alongside the road.
The group approached the cars and started to harass the father and his son, Trindad said. The suspects were heard yelling a gang-related term and started to assault the pair.
The son was able to get away, Trindad said. He ran to the nearby homeless shelter and asked those inside to call police.
When police responded shortly after 3:45 a.m., the victim was taken to Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Trindad said.
This is Merced Citys first homicide of the year.
Detectives have been assigned to the case and are working on leads, Trindad said.
Those with information about the incident can call Detective Robert Solis at (209) 385-4703 or the Merced Police Department tipster line at (209) 385-4725. The public can also anonymously text information to the police department by dialing TIP411 (847411) and including the word ComVIP as the keyword in the text message.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.