Man found shot to death in alley behind Los Banos church

LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police are investigating the shooting death of a Los Banos man found in an alley behind the First Baptist Church.

Several neighbors told Action News they were awakened by a series of loud bangs at around 4:30 a.m. Friday. But nobody called police, until a woman returning from taking her kids to school saw the body in the alley near D and 8th streets.

"We located a male, appears to be in his 40s, and appears to have suffered from gunshot wounds. We were able to confirm that he was deceased upon our arrival," said Cmdr. Ray Reyna with the Los Banos Police Department.

Reyna says police believe the man is a Los Banos resident, but are awaiting confirmation of his identity from the Merced County Coroner's Office. They do not believe the man lives in this neighborhood.

The husband of the woman who found the body told us she was shocked. And while residents told us this was a good neighborhood, nobody wanted to go on camera to talk about it for fear of reprisals.

Reyna notes murders are rare in this community. He said, "This is the first homicide of the year for Los Banos."

And he noted it will likely be awhile until a motive for the shooting can be determined. He said, "It's still too early to tell if it's gang-related."

Police are contacting known associates of the victim as part of their investigation.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Los Banos Police Department at (209) 827-7070.

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