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June 9, 2014

Three arrested in Delhi gang shooting

Three suspected gang members were jailed over the weekend in connection with a drive-by shooting in April that left a Stanislaus County man a quadriplegic, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Three suspected gang members were jailed over the weekend in connection with a drive-by shooting in April that left a Stanislaus County man a quadriplegic, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Ruben Lugo, 29, was “shot several times in the back and left for dead” on April 30 in a drive-by shooting while in the front yard of his family’s home in the 15000 block of August Avenue in Delhi, Deputy Delray Shelton said in a news release.

Lugo survived the attack but was left quadriplegic, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Shelton said Lugo was shot by rival gang members.

Detectives identified three “prime suspects” in the attack as Ruben Gabriol Barrera, 25, of Winton; Ruben Anthony Arce, 18, of Hilmar; and Diego Villasenor, 26, of Delhi, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators have not commented on whether they believe there were multiple shooters.

“We aren’t able to say who was the actual shooter,” Shelton said.

Detectives on Friday served five search warrants in Winton, Delhi, Hilmar, Turlock and San Joaquin County in connection with the investigation. All three men were taken into custody during the searches, the Sheriff’s Department said.

All three were booked at the Merced County Main Jail on suspicion of attempted murder, conspiracy and criminal street gang participation, according to booking records.

Barrera’s bail was set at more than $1 million.

Bail for Arce and Villasenor was set at $750,000.

The April shooting occurred in the same area where another, unrelated drive-by shooting was reported a month earlier.

A 17-year-old boy was shot multiple times March 8 in the area of Countryside and August avenues in Delhi. The teenager’s injuries were not life-threatening. The shooter was inside a black and orange SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe, deputies said. No arrests have been made.

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