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Hunt for shooter in Turlock slaying continues

POSTED July 10, 2009 8:30 p.m.

Detectives have determined that a man fatally shot inside a Turlock apartment Tuesday night was not a resident of the complex, but investigators have been unable to find the listed renter, said Turlock Police Lt. Carl Nielsen.


The victim in Tuesday night’s homicide has been identified as Rafael Ruiz, 29, by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office. Ruiz had a Huntington Park address listed on his driver’s license.


Ruiz was shot and killed just before 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Brentwood Apartment complex at 1301 N. Denair Ave. A 911 call from the complex said several people were seen running from the ground floor apartment and that at least one shot had been fired. Several kids swimming in the nearby pool said they heard two shots.


Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.


Nielsen said detectives were tracking down some leads that had developed in the case, but no clear motive has been established.


“We’re not ruling out drug or gang-related yet,” Nielsen said. “We’re still working to put all the pieces together. We do know that this was not a random act of violence.”


In a letter distributed to all the residents at the apartment complex, Lacey Salas, the property manager, wrote that Ruiz “was not a resident of our community” and was likely “targeted by the shooter.”


When police arrived at the apartment the front door was unlocked and Ruiz was the only one inside.


No weapon has been recovered.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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