A report of an assault early Monday sent Merced Police Department officers to the 300 block of East 15th Street, where they found a male who had been severely beaten, the department reported in a Feb. 4 email release.
Officers arrived at 3:45 a.m. to find a severely beaten male. Police arranged for him to be transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The name and age of the victim is not being released to the public until the Merced Coroner's Office confirms his identification.
"Seven to 14 suspects approached the victim and his adult son," police said witnesses told them. "Both of them were in separate cars parked alongside the road. The group approached the father’s and son’s cars and started to harass them. The suspects were heard yelling 'Norte' and started to assault the victims."
The son ran to a homeless shelter to ask the police be called.
The beating is Merced's first homicide reported in 2013.
"Detectives have been assigned to the case and are working on any leads," the department said. "If anyone has information about this homicide, they are strongly encouraged to call the police department."
"Police Officers are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Detective Robert Solis at (209) 385-4703, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to the police department by dialing 'TIP411' (847411) and including the word 'ComVIP' as the keyword in the text message."