Merced Co. man accidently shot & killed fiancée


Detectives say 21-year-old Fabio Mendonca accidentally shot his fiancée in the face Wednesday night.

Merced County detectives sealed off the crime scene at a home near Delhi Wednesday night, shortly after a shocking shooting.

Sgt. Scott Dover said, "Initially the report was it was an accidental shooting and through our investigation we determined that it wasn't necessarily intentional, but there was a significant amount of neglect, and negligence on the suspect's part."

Investigators say Fabio Mendonca pointed a shotgun toward his fiancée's face, and it somehow fired as relatives watched in horror. Mirisa Dinwiddie died at the scene. One family friend tells Action News Mendonca was cleaning the gun when it went off. Sgt. Scott Dover did not want to confirm or deny that, but said the shooting could have easily been avoided.

Sgt. Dover said, "You have to assume they're loaded at all times and just never point them at anything you don't want to shoot because they're unpredictable."

The couple's Facebook pages reveal much more about the pair and the future plans that were suddenly cut short. Mirisa's shows she went to Hilmar High School, and includes a line about Fabio that says, "He's amazing can't wait to marry him."

Fabio's page is filled with pictures of the two together, and also several from his Portuguese style bullfighting events. But now he's booked in the Merced County jail, accused of killing his future wife.

Sgt. Dover said, "Like I said, it appears it wasn't intentional, but just the mere fact that you're pointing a firearm at someone's face, that's negligence in itself."

The district attorney's office is now waiting for reports from the sheriff's department to determine what charges to file against Mendonca. He's being held on a million dollar bail, and is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.

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