Deputies arrest Merced County shooting suspect on suspicion of attempted murder

Authorities have arrested a suspect on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with a February shooting that left a man injured in Merced County.

Brandon DeLaCruz-Claude was arrested Wednesday after deputies served a search warrant at a residence in the 1900 block of K Street at around 4 p.m., according to Deputy Michael Domingue. Authorities said DeLaCruz-Claude initially refused to exit the home. According to Domingue, because of circumstances including the use of a firearm in the February incident, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was requested and responded to the residence. Authorities instructed the suspect to exit the home over a PA system and after roughly 30 minutes, the suspect exited the home and was taken into custody without the use of force, according to deputies.

Authorities said DeLaCruz-Claude was identified as a suspect in a shooting that occurred last month in Planada. At about 2:30 p.m. Feb. 2, deputies responded to the shooting in the 300 block of Gage Street. According to the sheriff’s office, a 53-year-old man suffered a nonlife-threatening gunshot wound to his lower body.

He was reportedly driven by a friend to a Merced area hospital before being flown to a regional trauma center for treatment of his injuries. Domingue said investigators believe DeLaCruz-Claude and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated into a physical battle and ultimately a shooting.

While serving the search warrant at the Merced residence where DeLaCruz-Claude was located, detectives reportedly found two handguns and ammunition, as well as firearms accessories and magazines.

He was booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony attempted murder.