Arrests made in Winton shooting deaths

MERCED - Arrests have been made in connection with last week's double homicide in Winton, officials with the Merced County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday. But they won't give any details.

Sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie confirmed that arrests had been made, but didn't elaborate, saying the investigation is still ongoing.

A press conference regarding the arrests is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday.

MacKenzie said several searches were made Thursday in connection with the homicide investigation.

The victims, 21-year-old Andres Rodriguez and 18-year-old Abraham Valenzuela, both of Winton, were shot outside a residence on the 7000 block of Peridot Avenue around 9:30 p.m. on May 26.

Investigators said the victims were outside the residence when they were approached by three to four people. The shooters fired about 40 rounds at the victims. Investigators speculate the shooters parked their car about a block away from the house, walked to the house, and fired from about 15 to 20 yards away.

Rodriguez, who was wheelchair-bound, died at the scene in the driveway of the home. Valenzuela was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Three other people were injured in the shooting, one of whom was a 32-year-old female innocent bystander who was with her 4-year-old son. Fortunately, the boy wasn't hurt.

The crime had gang overtones, according to investigators, and an argument earlier that week may have led to the shooting.