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Double homicide reported in Los Banos

LOS BANOS -- Two men were killed in Los Banos early Sunday morning after shots were fired in an alleyway near a nightclub, police report. The incident was reported at 1:46 a.m. and occurred in the 500 block of I Street near Club Azul. The names of the male victims, a 34-year-old and a 30-year-old, haven't been released.

Police also haven't released any information about the shooter. No suspects are in custody. The motive remains under investigation, although police believe the shooting is gang-related.

Police responded to the scene after reports of a fight involving firearms. When officers arrived, they heard several shots fired from the north alleyway and saw several people running from the scene. Officers found the two victims, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The deaths were the first homicides reported in Los Banos this year. Eleven homicides have been reported in Merced County this year.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call Detective Wesley Townsley at (209) 827-7070 ext. 146. Witnesses can can also leave an anonymous tip at www.losbanos.org.

Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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