Double homicide suspect killed in officer-involved shooting

05/31/2014 8:48 PM

06/02/2014 10:04 AM

A suspect in a double homicide Friday in Merced County was killed a few hours later in Turlock in a shooting involving Merced County sheriff’s deputies, officials have confirmed.

Two women were found shot and killed about 8 p.m. Friday in the 11100 block of South Lander Avenue, a remote area south of Turlock near the Stevinson area, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department said.

The suspect was shot and killed about 5:20 a.m. Saturday by Merced County sheriff’s deputies near a Turlock motel in the 200 block of South Walnut Road, Turlock police spokeswoman Mayra Lewis confirmed. Turlock police officers were not involved in the shooting, Lewis said.

The two deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, she said.

Placing officers on administrative leave while a shooting incident is investigated is standard procedure. Their identities were not released.

“None of our officers or Merced County officers were injured,” Lewis said.

Few details of the officer-involved shooting were immediately available.

Authorities did not release identities of the suspected shooter and the two homicide victims. But a niece confirmed the victims as Lisa Dennis-Robbins and Ronda Cupit-Hiatt. A “Lisa and Ronda’s Memorial” at the gofundme website. set up by Tracey Cox, shows photos of her two aunts.

Sheriff’s deputies responded just before 8 p.m. Friday to a 911 call reporting multiple gunshots. The female caller said two people had been shot and possibly killed, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department said in a brief news release.

It was not immediately clear whether the victims were found inside or outside the home. A motive for the shooting has not been released.

The subsequent officer-involved shooting is the second involving Merced law enforcement in just over a month.

Merced police officers shot and killed a robbery suspect April 26. Two officers remain on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation in that case.

Friday’s incident marked the second homicide case of the year in the Stevinson area.

Casey DeSalles, 37, was found dead Feb. 26 at his home in the 19000 block of Sixth Avenue in a case investigators believe was drug-related. Two people were arrested in connection with DeSalles’ death a month later and are in custody awaiting further appearances in Merced County Superior Court.

Friday’s double murder brings the total number of reported homicides in 2014 in Merced County to 12. Each homicide has involved firearms.

Just two of the cases have ended in arrests, and only one – the Stevinson homicide from February – has resulted in murder charges.

Merced County experienced a record high of 29 homicides in 2013.

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