Suspect arrested in 16-year-old boy’s shooting death in Merced

Merced police have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy.

Jerome Wynne, 22, is accused of shooting Donovan Webster to death in the early morning hours of Feb. 17 near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 20th Street, police said.

Police said Wynne was already in custody for an unrelated gun possession charge when he was booked Friday for the homicide. Police said the motive remains under investigation, and the weapon used in the shooting has not been recovered.

Sgt. Scott Skinner said Wynne had been considered a person of interest during the first two weeks of the department’s investigation. Detective Paul Johnson made the arrest Friday after following up on leads and conducting interviews. Johnson interviewed Wynne, but he denied involvement in the shooting, police said.

The night Webster was killed, police responded to the scene and found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Family members said Webster had been staying at a group home in Madera and showed up unexpectedly at his parents’ home around midnight Feb. 17. Webster left his parents’ home to visit his brother at a nearby friend’s house.

Police said Webster was either walking to that nearby residence or walking back to his parents’ home when the shooting happened. Webster’s family members heard the gunshots, went outside and saw the victim lying on the ground.

Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to call Johnson at (209) 388-7742 or the department’s automated tipline at (209) 385-4725. Tips are kept confidential and can remain anonymous.