LOS BANOS -- Police have released the identity of two men who were killed outside of a nightclub early Sunday morning in a gang-related shooting.
Ruben Sanchez, 34, and Angel Rodriguez, 30, died after being shot on the 500 block of I Street near Club Azul.
Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said police have determined the two homicide victims are from the same gang. Authorities, however, declined to reveal whether motorcycle gangs were involved.
Police have not named a suspect and are continuing to talk to witnesses.
Police responded to the scene after reports of a large fight involving firearms at 1:46 a.m. When officers arrived, they heard several shot being fired from the north alleyway and saw several people running from the scene. Officers located the two victims, who were both pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
Reyna said his department is planning to contact the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control about Club Azul’s role in the incident.
A woman named Stacy, who is an employee at Club Azul, said the owner is waiting to see the police report before she comments on the incident.
Reyna said all of the department’s detectives are working on the case and police are increasing nighttime patrol as a public safety measure. The incident marked the 13th gang-related shooting in Los Banos since April and the first and second homicides of the year.
On June 7 Los Banos worked with the state attorney general’s office and multiple city and county law enforcement agencies on Operation Red Zone. The operation focused on Norteño criminal street gang members and resulted in 72 arrests, 30 of which were gang members living in Los Banos.
Police are asking anyone with information about Sunday’s homicides to call Det. Wesley Townsley at (209) 827-7070 ext. 146. Witnesses can can also leave an anonymous tip at www.losbanos.org.