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Shooting suspect arrested in Stockton

STOCKTON -- A suspect wanted in Tuesday's slaying of a Merced resident Rudolfo "Rudy" Hernandez was tracked down by the Merced Police Department's Gang Violence Suppression Unit and arrested in Stockton around 9:30 a.m. today.

Police arrested 19-year-old Christopher Marenco for shooting Hernandez, 27, during a small gathering at a home at 1630 Yosemite Park Way at 2:01 a.m., according to Merced Police Sgt. Scott Skinner.

Skinner said police are still investigating the motive behind the crime, although they have determined that Marenco is the brother of a woman that Hernandez was dating at the time of his death. Marenco is also a documented Norteno gang member, while Hernandez had dropped out of gang life. Police said on Wednesday that a dispute between the two men led to the shooting.

On Tuesday Merced police arrested 24-year-old Gilbert Ruiz during a traffic stop near the intersection of 11th and R streets. Police believe Ruiz drove Marenco away from the scene after the shooting occurred.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or