July 30, 2010

Man shot while walking in South Merced dies at hospital

A 52-year-old man died in a hospital Friday afternoon after two men shot him several times early Friday morning as he was walking along Childs Avenue in South Merced.

The victim's name was being withheld, pending notification of his family.

The Merced County Sheriff's Department said Friday afternoon that deputies arrested two suspects in connection with homicide. No weapons were recovered.

Police arrested 18-year-old Marco Garibay on Friday morning in the 600 block of East 21st Street in Merced, said deputy Tom MacKenzie, and he was booked into Merced County Jail. Carlos Castillo, 18, was arrested at 10 a.m. Friday in the 100 block of Yorktown.

It was Merced's fifth homicide of the year.

Investigators believe the man was shot several times in the head and chest at around midnight in the 1100 block of Childs Avenue.

Events leading up to the shooting are still unclear, MacKenzie added.

After the shooting, a witness said he saw the victim lying in the street, then spotted two people running away toward Highway 99 and Childs Avenue, deputies said.

The witness found two Merced police cars parked near the shopping area at Childs Avenue and Highway 99 and notified them of the shooting.

Police tried to follow the men, but they escaped. One police officer recognized one as Garibay.

Merced County sheriff's deputies then took over the investigation from Merced police, because the crime took place in an unincorporated area.

Sheriff's deputies were then able to get a warrant for the arrest of Garibay.

The crime is still under investigation.

Reporter Jamie Oppenheim can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or joppenheim@mercedsun-star.com.

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