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Victim found dead in a Merced field. Three teens, 1 adult arrested in gang killing, police say

Merced police have arrested a man and three teenagers in connection with the April 9 shooting death of Raymond Angeles Jr, who was found dead in a field following multiple gang-related fights, Chief Chris Goodwin said on Thursday.

The 28-year-old was discovered about 6:56 a.m. April 9 in a field in the 1600 block of 16th Street in Merced, police said. He was killed by a single gunshot wound, according to Goodwin, and police have said they believe he had been killed several hours earlier, about midnight.

Detective Rey Alvarez said the suspects have a teenage sister who had been in a previous gang-related altercation with another teenage girl, the daughter of the victim’s girlfriend.

“These two girls got into a fist fight over some gang stuff and that’s what sparked this,” he said. “There was a fight earlier in the day. There was a second altercation and then the third altercation happened at the Gateway.”

Officers arrested 21-year-old Richard Rivera Jr. of Yuba City and two teenagers on Wednesday, as well as another teen the day before, in connection to the gang-related homicide, Goodwin said. Rivera was arrested in Yuba City by a Sutter County task force while the others were arrested in Merced County.

Richard Rivera Jr., 21.jpg
Richard Rivera Jr., 21 Merced County Sheriff's Office

Two of the suspects — ages 14 and 16 — were from Merced. A 17-year-old suspect was from Monterey County, he said.

Officers used surveillance footage found in the area of V and 16th streets and also discovered two cellphones, he said.

An altercation started at the Gateway Hotel before the victim was chased and shot in the field.

There have been three homicides so far this year in Merced, and police have made arrests related to all three.

The teenagers were booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of murder with gang enhancements, according to Goodwin. Rivera was taken into Merced County Jail on suspicion of the same crimes and is held in lieu of $1 million in bail, according to jail records.

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