Two men broke into a Hilmar home during the dark hours of Monday, killing a 70—year-old man and wounding a 33-year-old man, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
The deceased was identified by the sheriff’s department as Roberto Solorio.
The brutal attack began shortly before 1 a.m. Monday at a home in the 10000 block of Tegner Avenue in Hilmar.
Two armed men forced their way into the home and confronted the two residents inside, department spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie said.
The men shot the 70-year-old Hispanic man multiple times, MacKenzie said.
The second victim was shot at least once and sustained a non-life threatening injury.
“It is unclear at this time whether there was a physical altercation which prompted the shooting,” MacKenzie said.
The 70-year-old man was rushed to Emanuel Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The second victim was transported to a Modesto hospital where he is expected to recover from his injuries, MacKenzie said.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that the home invasion and subsequent murder were done in an effort to steal medical marijuana.
MacKenzie said there is no evidence that medical marijuana was being grown at the house, but that a relative who spends a lot of time at the residence does have a connection to medical marijuana.
“Investigators are speculating that anyone who associated that relative with the victim's house may have targeted the residence on Tegner because of the relative,” MacKenzie said.
The suspects were described as either light-skinned Hispanic or Caucasian males.
MacKenzie said investigators have received multiple tips regarding the case and the suspects and are following up on various leads.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Detective Division at 385-7472.