Two killed by gunfire outside a Planada market identified

Friday, February 02, 2018 06:01PM
The Merced County Sheriff's Office said Diego Gallardo, 22, and Pedro Lua, 27, both died at the scene.


FRESNO, Calif. - One man's shocking discovery is helping deputies solve a deadly Planada shooting.

Merced County sheriff's deputies say 22-year-old Diego Gallardo, and 27-year-old Pedro Lua died after being shot and killed in Planada on Thursday.

Miguel Nava says he was shopping at the property next door the next morning when he looked over and saw a gun on the ground.

"The first thing I'd seen is a gun lying there. I thought it was a toy gun. When we got close, it was a real gun," said Nava.

Deputies were combing the scene Friday morning, and say the discovery is leading them to believe there was more than one shooter.

"We do believe more than one person involved in the shooting due to the surveillance video we have, and the multiple guns that we have. We believe there was at least two or three guns involved in the shooting," said Merced County Sheriff.

RELATED: 2 dead, 1 in critical condition after shooting outside market in Planada, deputies say

Deputies believe the shooting was gang-related, and say a fight broke out between two rival gang members before shots were fired.

Candles now mark the spot at the scene where the victims died.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to us, so we're still trying to process what's going on," said Diego's Aunt Ana Moreno

Gallardo's family is heartbroken. They say Gallardo was a go-getter and was currently going to college to get his business degree.



His family says he did not have ties to any gangs and was just a bystander. What they want to see now is the sheriff's office do more to combat crime.

"Reach out more to the community, and stop this violence that has stigmatized our town for a long time," said Moreno.

The shooting comes less than a week after the sheriff's office conducted a gang sweep through the area.

"It's never been nothing like that we've had this many problems with. It's kind of developing, and we're trying to take care for it," said Deputy Daryl Allen.

Meanwhile, there have not been any arrests made in the shooting, but deputies are looking through surveillance videos and asking witnesses to come forward.
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