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Santa Maria police identify suspect in deadly May shooting

Alfredo Alaniz Jr. background 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:45 PM, Jun 17, 2021

The Santa Maria Police Department has identified a suspect in a murder investigation.

Early in the morning on May 16, 2021, police responded to a shooting in the area of Lincoln and Mill streets.

Mario Angel Merino Gonzalez, 19, of Guadalupe was found dead in the street.

Investigators said Gonzalez had apparently been involved in an argument with a group of people before he was shot.

Police say they've since identified the suspect as Alfredo Alaniz, Jr., 21, of Santa Maria.

Alaniz is described as 5'10" tall and approximately 210 pounds with black hair and green eyes. He reportedly has tattoos of an "S" on his right cheek and a ship on the left side of his head.

Police say Alaniz should be considered armed and dangerous. If seen, the public is urged to immediately call law enforcement.

Anyone with further information about Alaniz or his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Preast at (805) 928-3781 ext. 1683 or call (805) 928-3781 ext. 2277. Anonymous tips can be made by calling the tip line at (805) 928-3781 ext. 2677.