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February 12, 2014

Warrant issued in Planada gang homicide

A warrant has been issued for a 19-year-old Planada gang member accused of killing another man in November.

Merced County Sheriff’s detectives are looking for a man suspected of shooting a fellow gang member to death in November.

A warrant has been issued for Adrian Quezada of Planada, Deputy Delray Shelton confirmed this week.

Quezada, 19, is the prime suspect in the Nov. 25 shooting death of 24-year-old Eric Perez Guzman in the 9300 block of Bigler Driver, the Sheriff’s Department said.

“The investigation has determined that he (Quezada) murdered his own friend,” Shelton said. “They’re both Sureño gang members.”

Detectives said the two men got into an argument that erupted in gun violence. Deputies declined to elaborate further on motives for the killing, citing a need to protect the investigation. “We are actively looking for this suspect, and he is considered armed and dangerous,” Shelton said.

Investigators stressed that anyone who provides information to deputies regarding Quezada’s whereabouts can remain anonymous.

Guzman died at a regional hospital a day after he was shot. About two weeks later, one of Guzman’s relatives, 16-year-old Asbiel Copado, was also shot and killed in nearly the same spot as Guzman in the 9300 block of Bigler Drive. Authorities said Copado was a member of the same gang.

Shelton said Copado’s death remains under investigation and detectives haven’t ruled out possible connections between the two cases.

The two killings happened just weeks apart. Frustrated Planada residents responded to the incidents by holding a peace rally last weekend at Houlihan Park.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff’s Department at (209) 385-7472, ext. 4993.

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