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Arrest made in Turlock shooting
Juan Jose Cruz Jr
Juan Jose Cruz, Jr.

The Turlock Police Department has arrested a man suspected of gunning down another man at a Turlock motel in what is believed to be an act of gang violence.

The deceased has been identified as Mario Mesa, 26, of Modesto.

The shooting happened around 4:15 a.m. Monday at a motel in the 200 block of N. Tully Road. 

The first officers to arrive at the scene found Meza with a single gunshot wound. He was rushed to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries during surgery, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley.

Ceres resident Miguel Saldate, 19, was located at the scene of the shooting. He was not injured and was taken to the police department for questioning, Parmley said. Saldate was subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, as well as other felony charges, according to the police department. Saldate’s arrest for attempted murder relates to other individuals involved in the incident and not Mesa.

Detectives assigned to this investigation followed up on leads and were able to identify another involved subject, Juan Jose Cruz Jr., 19, of Modesto.

Cruz was questioned at the Turlock Police Department and subsequently arrested Wednesday afternoon for homicide, attempt homicide, aggravated assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Cruz was later booked into the Stanislaus County Jail.

Investigators suspect the shooting was gang-related, Parmley said.

“This remains an on-going investigation and detectives are working to identify all of the parties involved in this incident,” Parmley said.

Turlock Police Detectives ask that anyone with information, to call Detective Timothy Redd at (209) 664-7325. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at

The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program.

Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.