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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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Shooting Injures Two Men in Stockton

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Police close off a roadway where two men were found shot.

STOCKTON – Two men were taken to a hospital after suffering injuries in a shooting Sunday night.

At about 10:18pm officers were called to the area Cemetery Lane and Harding Street for a report of two men shot. Both victims were taken to a local hospital and are expected to survive their injuries.

A short time later a crime scene was located near the area of 10th and Ophir Streets. There was no suspect information available at time of publication.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Man Dies From Gunshot Wounds, Police Investigate

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Police officers investigate a shooting on Dijon Street on May 12th 2024.

STOCKTON – A 39 year old man died of his injuries from a shooting on Mother’s Day, police reported Friday.

The shooting happened May 12th at about 9:40pm. Officers responded to a report of a person shot on the 2000 block of Dijon Street. Arriving officers found the victim and began providing aid until medics transported him to a hospital for care.

On Thursday May 16th, investigators were notified that the victim died. No releasable suspect information or a motive was available Friday.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Police Shooting Investigated in West Modesto

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MODESTO – An officer involved shooting closed down a shopping center near a busy intersection early Tuesday morning.

The incident happened shortly before 1:00am near the intersection of South Martin Luther King Drive and Paradise Road. A police press release stated the shooting occurred when police encountered an armed person during a traffic stop. The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound and was expected to survive. A firearm was recovered at the scene, and no officers were injured.

South Martin Luther King Drive was closed to traffic near the area where the shooting happened. The shooting appeared to have happened in a parking lot just east of the roadway near a Jack in the Box restaurant. A white car was examined by investigators in the parking lot, with police cars behind it.

The area was cleared and re-opened shortly before 9:00am.

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

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