Man shot and killed in early morning Days Inn shooting
On Monday, September 7th, 2020, at approximately 4:15 am, the Turlock Police Department received multiple calls reporting shots fired at the Days Inn located at 185 N Tully Rd. Officers arrived on scene within two minutes to hear shots still being fired, however, unknown from exactly where at the hotel. Witnesses reported seeing a white Acura possibly involved in the shooting taking off when officers arrived. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate it. Officers located a Hispanic male inside the hotel that had suffered a single gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries during surgery.
A second suspect was located on scene who was detained and brought in for questioning. After questioning, he was placed under arrest for attempted homicide, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, participating in gang activity, and assault with a deadly weapon. He has been identified as Miguel Saldate, 19, of Ceres. It is currently unknown if Saldate’s charges are associated with the death of the victim, and if so, why he was charged with attempted homicide rather than homicide.
The original suspect, that fled in the white Acura, was located and taken in for questioning by detectives on September 9th, 2020. He was then subsequently booked into Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of homicide, attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He has been identified as Juan Jose Cruz Jr., 19, of Modesto.
A third suspect was located on September 17th, 2020, shortly before 9:50 am at the Hamlet Motel located at 27101 State Route 33 in Newman. He lead officers on a short pursuit before abandoning his vehicle near State Route 33 and Anderson Rd and then bailing. After receiving assistance from the California Highway Patrol, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, and the Newman Police Department, he was located later that afternoon several miles away in the 100 block of 5th St in Crows Landing and taken in for questioning. He was subsequently arrested and booked into Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of homicide, attempted homicide, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, participating in gang activity, and felony evasion. He has been identified as Eric Rodriguez, 26, of Patterson.
Detectives are currently investigating and working leads on identifying other involved parties. This homicide has been confirmed as gang related. The victim has identified as Mario Meza, 26, of Modesto.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Detective Tim Redd at 209-664-7325 or by email at TRedd@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.