MERCED PASTOR ARRESTED BY MERCED POLICE DEPARTMENT IN SHOOTING TODAY

Merced Police Officers were dispatched 12:43 p.m. to the 4600 Block of Beckman Way to investigate a civil peace disturbance. While officers were responding to the peace disturbance call, they were updated with additional information at 12:54 p.m. that gunshots were heard by citizens in the area of Beckman Way. Police arrived in the area of the 4600 Block of Beckman Way, discovering three gunshot victims lying in the roadway of Beckman Way. Police Officers quickly assisted the victims and called for medical support for the victims. Riggs Paramedics and Merced City Fire personnel arrive and rendered medical assistance to each of the victims and subsequently transported them to regional hospitals. The female victims were flown by air ambulances to an undisclosed hospital. The victim’s wounds (leg and upper torso wounds) were very serious, but it is likely that all victims will survive this shooting incident.

Merced Police Officers discovered that the suspect was still in the area of the crime scene. Police secured a perimeter of a residence in the area where the suspect resided and he refused to surrender to the officers. The suspect fired his gun at one of the police unmarked patrol cars that officers were using as cover from any additional gunfire. Fortunately the officers were not struck by bullets that the suspect fired in their direction. The standoff by the suspect was long, but with the assistance of the Merced Police Department hostage negotiator, the suspect surrendered peacefully without further incident. The Merced Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team were deployed to the area of the scene, on standby, but were not directly involved in the peaceful surrender of the suspect. The suspect did not sustain any injuries during this incident.

The suspect was interviewed by Merced Police Department Detectives and later booked him at the Merced County Jail for three counts of attempted homicide. The police Crime Scene Response Team arrived at the crime scene and processed the scene for evidence. The weapon that was used in the shootings was located and secured as evidence.

Merced Police Department appreciate the calls from citizens about the gunshots, aiding officers to promptly arrive at the scene to render assistance to the victims and to secure the crime scene for suspect apprehension. We also thank and appreciate the assistance and patience rendered by family members associated with the suspect, allowing the police to complete their investigation of this incident without any interruptions.

Merced Police Department Investigations Division is asking for citizens who witnessed this shooting to contact Detective Sergeant Curt Gorman at (209) 385-4706 or Detective Chris Russell at (209) 385-4707. Citizens with any information about this shooting can call the Merced Police Department tip-line at (209) 385-4725. Callers can remain anonymous.

According to Moreno’s Facebook Page, Moreno states he is a pastor at Victory Outreach Church in Merced. Police have not yet released the identity of the victims.

El Capitan High School was placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure at about 1:15 and remained in lockdown until school dismissed at 3:16. Parents were advised to only use the Farmdale entrance for the school while the Barclay entrance remained locked.  Principal Lee Shaw made several notifications to parents about the lockdown and reassured parents and students as they left the school.

Great at job to the Merced Police Department negotiators who were able to help this incident end without any more casualties.

This story will be updated as further information is released.

 

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