A 15-year-old boy was shot to death Wednesday about 9:30 p.m. in the 600 block of W. Eighth Street, police reported.
No suspects are in custody. Police have said the shooting could be gang-motivated, although no further details are available about the circumstances behind the shooting. The victim has been identified as Luis Angel Zavaleta-Rios, according to the Merced County Coroner’s Office.
The victim turned 15 less than a week ago.
Officers responded to a call of shots fired in the area of West Ninth and N streets. Officers arrived on scene and found the victim, who had been shot in the upper body area. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Capt. Tom Trindad.
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Five homicides have been reported in the city of Merced this year, and 10 have been reported countywide.
Zavaleta-Rios is the second juvenile homicide victim reported this year in Merced. Sixteen-year-old Donovan Webster was fatally shot Feb. 17 near West 20th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Police said Webster was either walking to a nearby residence or walking back to his home when the shooting happened.
No suspects have been arrested in Webster’s death.