Local

2 killed behind Los Banos night club

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Investigators in the North Valley are looking into a double murder in Los Banos. Two men were shot and killed behind Club Azul on I street just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Los Banos Police said the shooting seems to be gang related.

Investigators told Action News the incident started as a large fight. Now, two men in their early thirties are dead and detectives are still trying to figure out who pulled the trigger.

The Department of Justice Forensics Team pulled potential evidence off an older model Acura Sunday. The car sat behind crime tape in the alley where Los Banos police said two men were shot and killed. Police responded to the shooting behind Club Azul around 1:45 a.m.

"[Officers] heard the shots coming from the alley way," said Sgt. Zina Holden. "They went to that location and people were fleeing the scene."

Police are not sure how many people ran off. They said detectives are talking to several witnesses who may be able to explain why the 30 and 34 year old men were shot.

"We called paramedics who came to the scene and tended to the victims and both were pronounced dead on the scene," Sgt. Holden said.

Officers spent the morning searching for evidence inside the club. They also collected evidence from a car parked across the street. "This is not a common occurrence to have homicides and shooting up at night clubs," Sgt. Holden added.

Neighboring business owners tell Action News Club Azul has caused problems in the past. And a man who attends church a few doors down from the bar said it's upsetting to hear about the killings.

"It's horrible, and we're praying for the families," Jason Calderon said. "We're a small community and we usually don't have stuff like that. Everyone knows each other. So, for something like this, it's a really sad thing to see."

This is the first and second homicide so far this year in Los Banos. There were only two during all of 2010. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Detective Wesley Townsley at (209) 827-7070 ext. 146.

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Tags:
los banos, merced county, gang, shooting, local, rick montanez
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