Ceres police looking for shooter in motel homicide

Detectives were looking for information about the shooting of a man found dead Friday morning in front of a motel room along Herndon Road, just east of Highway 99.

Authorities had identified the man by Friday evening, but Ceres police did not release his name, age or city of residence pending family notification. Police described the victim as a Latino in his 20s.

About 7:15 a.m., a motel guest found the man on the ground outside room 133 at the Howard Johnson Express Inn at 1672 Herndon Road.

He was found with a wound in his back and was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. Jose Berber, a Ceres police spokesman. He said an autopsy later determined the cause of death was a single gunshot wound in his back.

Berber said the victim was not a registered guest at the motel. He said detectives interviewed the guest registered in room 133, but he was not considered a suspect.

Those who were interviewed at the scene did not hear a gunshot, and police had not recovered a weapon. Detectives obtained search warrants for several rooms at the motel.

Berber said detectives were searching for a motive and trying to learn what circumstances might have lead to the shooting.

Police did not have a description of a suspect or a vehicle that could have been used in the shooting. It was unclear whether the shooting occurred at the motel or somewhere else.

Berber said detectives declined to release any further information Friday night, fearing it would harm the investigation.

Police ask anyone with information about this shooting to call the department’s Detectives Unit at 538-5730 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site,, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing “Tip704” plus your message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.

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