Two women were shot to death Friday night in an area south of Turlock and the suspect was killed by Merced County Sheriff’s deputies early Saturday morning at a Turlock motel.
Around 8 p.m. Friday the Merced county Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call reporting multiple shots fired in the 11000 block of Lander Avenue. Upon arrival deputies found two women deceased from gunshot wounds, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Delray Shelton.
The sheriff’s department has not released the names of the two women, but family members confirmed they are Ronda Cupit-Hiatt and Lisa Dennis-Robbins. The women are sisters and were both in their 40s, according to their niece Courtney Metzger.
Metzger said the shooter was Cupit-Hiatt’s husband, but declined to give his name. Cupit-Hiatt's Facebook page identifies her husband as Brian Hiatt, a former Turlock resident. Metzger said the couple had been married for about a year, but had recently been having problems. They both lived in Mariposa.
The home on Lander Avenue where the shooting occurred is just past the merced County line and is where Dennis-Robbins was staying at the time.
Both women attended the graduation of Cupit-Hiatt’s daughter just a day or two before the shooting. Metzger said both women were mothers and leave behind children who range in age from late teens to early 20s.
“Losing one is horrible, but losing two at the same time, you just don’t know where to go,” said Metzger. “We feel lost. All we have is each other right now.”
Early on into the investigation sheriff’s detectives gathered information that the suspected shooter was staying at a Motel 6 on S. Walnut Road in Turlock.
The suspect’s body was on Walnut Road between the hotel and the McDonald’s on the corner. Investigators were still at the scene as of noon processing and gathering evidence. The homicide scene at the Lander residence was cleared early Saturday morning.
No details of what transpired at the motel have been released, except that sheriff deputies shot and killed the suspect. Two sheriff's deputies have been placed on administrative duties, as per protocol, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Turlock Police Department is investigating the officer involved shooting because it transpired within city limits.
The family has set up an account to help pay for funeral expenses at http://www.gofundme.com/9q9ixw.