BALLICO — A 71-year-old man is dead after being gunned down during a possible home-invasion robbery Tuesday afternoon, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
The victim has been identified by the Sheriff's Department as Ramon Jaminez. Sheriff Mark Pazin said no suspects are in custody and details about the case are sketchy.
"It appears money was the motive -- and when none was given, (the robbers) made good on their threat of shooting (Jaminez),” Pazin said. “Truly this person was gunned down in cold blood."
Deputies responded to the scene in a rural area of Merced County after the victim’s wife called 911 at 3:46 p.m. to report that her husband had been shot.
The woman told deputies her husband was leaving to go to the store when a vehicle pulled up to the home.
Three men exited the vehicle and began talking to Jaminez. At some point, Jaminez and the men ended up back inside the residence, although Pazin said it’s unknown whether he was forced into the home or went willingly.
The wife overheard the men telling her husband they wanted money. Jaminez replied he didn't have any. Then men then threatened Jaminez, saying they’d kill his wife, if he didn't hand over some money.
The wife then reported hearing a gunshot and her husband collapse. The men then fled the scene, leaving in an unknown direction, Pazin said.
The victim was taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, where he was pronounced dead.
A description of the men wasn't available Tuesday night, Pazin said, adding that detectives were interviewing family members and neighbors to piece together everything that happened. Detectives are asking anyone with details about the crime to call the (209) 385-7472. Tips are kept confidential and you can remain anonymous.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.