Merced man shoots boss then drives him to hospital

MERCED, Calif.

61 year-old Jose Paz is facing attempted murder charges. He was detained at the hospital. Deputies say this isn't the first time the victim Edward Trinidad has had problems with the suspect.

Meanwhile neighbors and friends we spoke with were shocked to hear about the farmer's altercation with an employee.

The emergency room entrance at the Mercy Medical center turned into a crime scene Tuesday morning. Deputies handcuffed 61-year old José Paz after they say he shot his employer Edward Trinidad multiple times in his chest at his farm in Merced County.

"Whatever happened this morning erupted into an argument which then juxtaposed into the shooting of the victim." said Sheriff Mark Pazin.

Investigators say Paz then took Trinidad in this company car and drove to the old Mercy hospital where he realized it wasn't open. Then Paz was seen weaving and rolling over some curbs at the mercy medical center before stopping in front of the emergency room. Detectives believe Paz was under the influence of alcohol.

"Apparently the suspect had been drinking. Which may have facilitated the arguments with his employer." sheriff Pazin added.

Emergency crews rushed to Trinidad's aid and took him into surgery for his gunshot wounds. Investigators say Paz tried to leave the scene but was stopped by construction workers nearby.

"Jose Paz still had the weapon with him and tried to ditch it and hide it and conceal it over at the hospital in some bushes." Sheriff Pazin added.

The construction workers held Paz at bay until police officers could arrive to take him into custody.

Family, friends and neighbors are now left to wonder why someone would do this to such a well respected farmer in the community.

"He's a Portuguese farmer hard working farmer and he's worked so hard. I mean he works from sun down to sun up and I can't believe anything like this has happened." said neighbor Bob Wright.

Paz was arrested in 2008 for assault with a deadly weapon against Trinidad and his son. He received three years probation for that offense.

Friends told Action News he was laid off a year ago but was recently re-hired by the family.

Paz remains in the Merced County jail.

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