MADERA COUNTY, California (KFSN) —
After a SWAT standoff and a total of eight hours hiding from Madera County Sheriff’s deputies and police, shooting suspect 43-year-old Santiago Merino gave himself up.
“We believed he was going to be somewhat cooperative and so we kinda reacted how the suspects react, so since he cooperated with us we took it to a much lower level,” said Tyson Pogue, Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they found him hypothermic and non-threatening. This, after a standoff shut down Road 29 to traffic for most of the morning.
“Sometime between when they got the call and when we arrived he somehow escaped the perimeter,” said Pogue.
Merino is now in custody, facing attempted murder charges after deputies say he shot his neighbor in the face during an altercation.
Detectives retrieved more than one weapon and are trying to determine which was involved.
The victim has not been identified but was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Detectives remained at the crime scene into the afternoon interviewing families living on the property; trying to piece together how events unfolded.
“At this point they’re just witnesses, they’re not suspects or anything like that,” said Pogue.
Merino faces an attempted murder charge and possibly more pending investigation. Deputies are still determining whether additional arrests need to be made.
|Chowchilla News Day
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