Suspects arrested in Merced Avenue homicide, police say

Merced police say two homicide suspect who fled the area have been arrested.

Stuart Nagata, 39, and Karla Perez, 35, both of Merced, were arrested by the Merced Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team and Merced police detectives in Lindsay on Aug. 10.

Detectives identified Nagata and Perez as suspects in a July fatal shooting after following up on leads and learning the two fled the scene of the shooting in a white vehicle.

That vehicle was located by detectives at a residence on Gage Street in Planada on July 16, according to a news release.

Detectives developed information which led them to the Lindsay residence and the subsequent arrests.

Police say Nagata is a validated Nuestra Famillia Prison gang member and Perez has ties to the Norteno criminal street gang.

The pair were taken back to Merced on Aug. 15, and booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of several felony charges including murder and gang enhancements.

According to police, officers responded to the 1300 block of Merced Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. on July 14, for a reported shooting.

Officers located a male gunshot victim who was unresponsive. The man, identified as Juan Manuel Ramirez, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Merced police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Detective Kalvin Haygood at 209-385-6998.

The public can send information via anonymous text message to the police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and include the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.