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Family seeks justice for killings

Police continue to investigate the circumstances behind the Friday night killing of two Merced men in the driveway of a Green Street home but say progress is slow in the case.

The Merced County Coroner's Office on Monday identified the murder victims as Thao Vang, 22, and Jerry Her, 20, both of Merced. Her and Vang died late Friday night and early Saturday morning at the Community Campus of Mercy Medical Center Merced where they were taken with multiple gunshot wounds. Two others were less seriously wounded.

Vang's brother, Nong Thao, said Monday he was very sad about his brother's death, saying he was an innocent person and "a good guy who didn't get into trouble." He said a $10,000 reward is being offered for information about the killing.

"The person who did this should be brought to justice," Thao said. Thao Vang, a Merced College student who had lived in Merced since 1986, had a wife and a 4-year-old son, relatives said.

Sgt. Scott Skinner of the Merced Police Department said detectives are recontacting witnesses to the Friday night shooting to see if they might remember anything else that would help in the investigation.

Skinner said detectives are still trying to figure out what happened but said the shooting does appear to have gang overtones. Her and Vang are the second and third persons to be murdered so far this year in the city of Merced.

Police said one or two shooters parked a car around the corner, walked up to the four people in the driveway and began shooting with what might have been a semi-automatic handgun, without saying anything. In a matter of seconds after the shooting, they fled in the car.

Nong Thao said those with information about the 8:31 p.m. shooting at East 27th and Green streets can call him at 658-2694 or call the Merced Police Department. The department's Tipster Line is 385-4725.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger

can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or