Deadly day for Merced County: 2 men shot and killed in separate incidents

One murder happened at an RV park near Los Banos, the other at an apartment in Atwater.

On Saturday, officials with the Merced County Sheriff's Office said they arrested a suspect in the Santa Nella homicide.

They said Anthony Joseph Santos is the man who opened fire on 27-year-old Andrew May near the RV park on Comet Road on Friday morning.

Authorities said Santos attempted to run from them but was eventually caught by a SWAT Unit.

He has been booked in the Merced County jail for murder.

Original story follows.


Friday was a deadly day in the North Valley.

Police Officials are looking into two murders in Merced County. The crimes are not related.

The first one happened in the community of Santa Nella near Los Banos.

A morning walk turned deadly for a man who was heading from an RV park to a nearby McDonald's around 7:30 am.

Someone opened fire and he was shot several times and died.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office doesn't have a motive for the shooting or a description of the suspect but homicide detectives are trying to find surveillance footage from the area.

A small memorial of candles and flowers marks the spot where the man was found.

In Atwater, another man, 37-year-old Armando Gonzales, was shot to death in what police say is a domestic violence-related incident.

The shooting happened at an apartment at Cedar Avenue and Park Street.

The suspect in the murder, 22-year-old Jason Dominguez, is in custody.

Atwater Police Chief Michael Salvador says police responded around 2 pm after getting multiple calls about gunshots in the area.

When they arrived, they spoke with a man and woman at this apartment, then found Dominguez in a bedroom with two gunshot wounds on his arm and chest. They tried to revive him but he died at the scene.

Neighbors say they often heard fighting from the home. Chief Salvador says domestic violence between the man who was killed and the woman who lives at the residence played a role in the shooting.

He added that officers have responded to the same home in the past for domestic violence incidents.

"I feel for the families involved in this incident. We want to make sure that justice is done," Salvador said.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.

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