The Merced County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a 17-year-old boy for murder in the death of a 23-year-old Delhi man.
The Merced County District Attorney’s Office has decided to prosecute the 17-year-old as an adult. He was identified by the sheriff’s department as Jose Guadalupe Lua Jr. According to the sheriff’s department, Lua is a documented gang member in Delhi, but most recently was residing in Merced.
The victim, Juan Manuel Reyes, 23, of Delhi was shot to death on Sept. 20.
Investigators believe Lua could just be the first arrest in the homicide.
“I am certain there are additional persons of interest as well as witnesses in this case,” said Merced Sheriff’s Detective Supervisor Sgt. Chuck Hale.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 20, the sheriff’s department received a call of a shooting and a possible injured individual in the 16000 block of Jeffrey Court.
The first deputies to arrive found Reyes lying in the front yard of a residence with multiple gunshot wounds. The deputies rendered first aid and he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries, said Merced Sheriff spokesperson Sgt. Delray Shelton.
Through some investigative leads, detectives indentified Lua as a possible suspect and on Wednesday took him into custody. He is being held at the Iris Garrett Juvenile Justice Complex.
Sheriff’s detectives encourage anyone with information to contact authorities at 385-7472, or mercedsheriff’s.com. All persons will remain anonymous.