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Update: Merced Man Charged With Homicide in Fatal Hit and Run

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Police detain Cruz Diaz shortly after a fatal hit and run Wedensday morning.

MODESTO – Authorities arrested a 39 year old Merced man on homicide charges after the intentional hit and run of two pedestrians claimed the life of one early Wednesday morning.

Shortly after midnight police were called to the area of Maze Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr Drive for a report of a person hit by a vehicle.

Officers arriving at the scene located a man and woman who were both struck by a vehicle. A woman was found in the alley behind the convenience store at the intersection. A man who was also struck and injured crawled toward the front of the store for help.

The 61 year old woman who was found in the alley next to a tent was unresponsive. Police officers began performing CPR on her until medics arrived. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The 30 year old male victim was also taken to a hospital by ambulance and was taken straight into treatment. Officials believe both victims may be related but as of late Wednesday morning those details had not been confirmed.

Authorities believed a possible argument had led up to the incident according to Lieutenant Chris Adams. Witness accounts indicated the act appeared intentional, the Lieutenant explained. Police were also reviewing surveillance video.

One witness who declined to be identified said he saw the vehicle strike a person, back up and then hit them again. He explained he then saw the vehicle drive away from the area.

Police officers closed off the alleyway with crime scene tape as detectives and crime scene technicians responded to investigate and gather evidence.

While officers worked the scene, a police cadet spotted a vehicle nearby matching the description. The cadet, identified as Mason Lewis, followed the vehicle and guided patrol officers to its location. Officers were able to stop the vehicle and detain the driver, identified as Cruz Diaz, to be interviewed.

Cadet Lewis has been with the department since his signing up as an explorer and is on his way to the police academy Lieutenant Adams said.

The Nissan sedan suspected of being involved in the crash was seized as evidence by police. There was visible damage on the vehicle and it was missing a mirror. The front passenger tire was flat.

Diaz was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on homicide charges.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Booza at boozag@modestopd.com or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Bomb Squad Called to Mobile Home Park

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STANISLAUS COUNTY – The Stanislaus County Sheriff Bomb Squad responded to a mobile home park Wednesday afternoon for a report of a suspicious package.

The incident happened on the 8000 block of Jantzen Road. Sheriff deputies responded and temporarily closed off access to the park and evacuated neighboring homes.

The Sheriff Bomb Squad later determined the package to be a box of magnets wrapped in leather. The box was delivered to the residence, however no one had ordered it, according to authorities at the scene.

By 3:15pm, access to the park was re-opened to residents.

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Shooting Victim Expected to Survive

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HUGHSON – Authorities investigated a shooting that injured a 27 year old man Monday afternoon.

The shooting happened shortly before 1:00pm at a mobile home park on Nunes Road, just outside of Keyes. Early reports indicated an argument between a man and a woman had taken place. The report also indicated that the man was trying to enter the woman’s home and she was being attacked.

Deputies found the man in the driveway of the residence suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and was expected to survive.

The involved woman received minor injuries. Authorities do not believe she is the shooter in the case.

Crime scene technicians and investigators responded to examine the scene and gather evidence, however no suspect identity was available Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Esquivez at (209) 567-4466 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Authorities Capture Amber Alert Suspect Wanted for Murder

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Photo: San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – Authorities on Saturday announced the capture of D Angelo Webb after acting on a tip.

Webb was arrested after five hours of negotiation with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. A community tip was credited in helping locate Webb on Ambrose Avenue in the city of Bay Point.

Residents in the home where Webb was found were evacuated, while authorities negotiated for his surrender.

Webb was wanted for the murder of 24 year old Brandi Hornsby and attempted murder of her mother. Authorities allege that Webb stabbed Hornsby’s mother on the 3900 block of East Fremont Street in Stockton. Hornsby was found deceased in the home.

An Amber Alert was issued the night of the attack for six week old Ggiana Webb. The child was located safe with a relative within a couple hours the same night.

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