Arrests Made in Shooting Deaths of Oceanside Teens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Homicide investigators announced four arrests Saturday in the shooting deaths of two teenagers and the injury of two other teens at a neighborhood park in Oceanside.

    On Mar. 13 at around 9 p.m., four teens were shot at Libby Lake Park on Calle Montecito. Family and friends identified the two teens killed in the shooting as 16-year-old Edgar Sanchez Rios and 13-year-old Melanie Virgen.

    Arrests in Libby Lake Park Killings

    [DGO] Arrests in Libby Lake Park Killings
    A family member told us he was surprised to hear about the arrest so soon after the teenagers were killed. Three adults and one minor are in jail accused of murder. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports. (Published Sunday, Mar 31, 2013)

    Early Friday, Oceanside police officers along with U.S. Marshals, FBI and ATF agents, served search warrants at five locations in Oceanside and Vista.

    As a result, three adults and one juvenile were arrested and face charges of murder, attempted murder and participation in a criminal street gang.

    Martin Melendrez, 19, of Vista; Michael Zarita, 19, of Vista and Santo Diaz, 18, of Oceanside were arrested in connection with the shooting. Investigators did not release the name of the juvenile suspect.

    The family of Melanie Virgen is relieved to learn of the arrests according to family member John Krause.

    Police Knock on Doors in Homicide Case

    [DGO] Police Knock on Doors in Homicide Case
    Oceanside police went door to door Wednesday, passing out fliers and asking for help in solving the shooting deaths of two teenagers in Libby Lake Park. NBC 7's Nicole Gonzales reports. (Published Thursday, Mar 21, 2013)

    "As opposed to not knowing who did it, we can put some names and faces to it now," Krause said. "We do derive some comfort from it but it won't bring them back."

    Krause said he and his family feel sad for the families of those arrested, believing that they may never get out of jail.

    He also says authorities are considering the death penalty for the suspects.

    "I understand that one of the boys is a minor. but for the other three, I would support that. I would support the death penalty in this case," he said.

    Officers also seized a dark gray 2011 Toyota Tacoma extended cab pickup registered to one of the suspects which is similar to the vehicle described by witnesses at the scene.

    The two injured teens, ages 17 and 18, were hospitalized. The 17-year-old was released from the hospital while the 18-year-old remains hospitalized in stable condition officials said. Their names have not been released.

    Oceanside police are asking anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the suspects in this case to contact Det. Mark LaVake at (760) 435-4872 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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