27-year-old man stabbed to death in Merced

One man was stabbed to death and another suffered serious injuries during a fight early Sunday between several people on West 19th Street near G Street, Merced police reported.

The Merced County coroner's office has identified the fatally wounded victim as Richard Nascimento, 27, of Merced.

A 26-year-old man was flown to a Modesto hospital with multiple stab wounds, according to Sgt. Bobby Chapman.

Merced police say the circumstances behind the fight and motive for the killing remain under investigation.

Officers responded to the first block of West 19th Street about 2:15 a.m. A caller told police that about eight people were involved in the fight and at least one person had a knife, police said.

Police were attempting to find people involved in the fight, and Lt. Tom Trindad spotted a vehicle leaving a nearby alleyway in the first block of West 18th Street. He stopped the vehicle and saw four people covered in blood. Officers detained the four people, who were identified as being involved in the fight.

Meanwhile, officers found the two stabbing victims where the fight had taken place. Nascimento was pronounced dead at the hospital. The 26-year-old man remains in serious condition at a Modesto hospital. The occupants of the car were arrested and were being questioned Sunday.

Three men were booked into the Merced County Jail in connection with the killing. Sergio Martinez, 33, and Francisco Ramirez, 30, were booked on suspicion of homicide. Aaron Fisher, 31, was booked on suspicion of accessory to homicide.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the fight to call Detective Chris Russell at (209) 385-4707 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725.

Anonymous tips may be sent by text message to 847411 by including the word "comvip" as the first word in the message. Callers can remain anonymous.

Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at(209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.