Local News

4 arrested in murder of Oceanside teens

OCEANSIDE, Calif. —  Four people were arrested in connection with the March 13 shooting in Libby Lake Park that was gang-related and left two teenagers dead and two others wounded, investigators with the Oceanside Police Department said Saturday.

Police said a series of search warrants served early Friday morning in Oceanside and Vista resulted in the arrests of three men and one juvenile.

Martin Melendrez, 21, Vista; Michael Zurita, 19, Vista; Santo Diaz, 19, Oceanside; and an unidentified juvenile were booked on charges of murder, attempted murder and participation in a criminal street gang.

Melanie Virgen, 13, and Edgar Sanchez, 15, died in the shooting.  Two other boys were wounded — one remains in the hospital.

Memorial at Libby Park

A makeshift memorial set up at Libby Park for Melanie Virgen and Edgar Sanchez

“It’s sad they did that to those kids because they were so young – they took their lives away.  I’m happy that they caught them,” said a woman who lives near tbe park.

Authorities also recovered a Toyota pickup similar to the one witnesses saw speed off the night of the shooting.

The teens were shot near a memorial for victims killed in another gang-related shooting back in 2011.  Police say the park violence has city leaders ready to take action.

“Shortly after the homicides occurred, our city manager, city council and chief of police did a walk through the park saying, ‘how can we make this better?’  There are some changes coming to the park, in short order, to enhance the safety of the park,” said Lt. Steve Regalado.


21 Comments to “4 arrested in murder of Oceanside teens”

    michael schwartz said:
    March 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    put a curfew on the park

    klauss said:
    March 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    all mexicans, ban mexicans

      lowc said:
      April 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM


    Ricardo said:
    March 31, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Just another reason the border should be well secured. Illegals coming here to breed for anchor babies , get welfare, and to graffiti walls! Then when their anchor baby grows up resenting their life they start gang banging. Well at least they are killing themselves in this situation. Several less to feed on section 8 now.

      patty said:
      March 31, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      wow with the name RICARDO makes me think your mexican tooo !!! should we BAN you to and send you were the hell you came from too !!!

      Guest said:
      April 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      Are you kidding me? Most of us anchor babies have become contributing members of society. With hard work and perseverance and an education our entire society can become safer and more understanding. Retired Police officer and Veteran.
      What have you contributed to being part of the solution?
      You must be able to walk the walk if you find yourself willing to talk the talk.
      One of many.

      mger said:
      April 1, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      its a bitter, however, semi valid statement. im not saying what your saying is entirely right and i do not support it, but someone had to say it; we all know its a grim reality in some cases

      guest said:
      April 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      you're so ignorant.

    J2000 said:
    March 31, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Why are they out so late at the park? Where are the parents?

      Parent said:
      April 1, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      My kids regularly have sports practice until 8:30 or 9:00 PM at the park. Same as when I was a kid. If it were 10:00PM I may ask the same, but not at 8:30PM.

    J2000 said:
    March 31, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    You are very ignorant to say something like that, where are your parents!

    irma said:
    April 1, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    FREE THE HOMIE he didnt kill anyone he would never do such a thing hes only 17 he not like that

    diane said:
    April 2, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    You are so ignorant. You don't have to worry about shit because you have it pretty easy. It's the fucking system that fails to provide equal resources for these kids and this is why they grow up like this. Your mouth is so full of shit and fyi mexicans are not the ones who ask for welfare there's tons of whites and blacks who line up and lie about not having a husband and shit in order to get free money. You are so fucking stupid and in all honesty I hope you get shot or anyone in your family does so you learn to understand such pain for both families. You fucking bastard. I wish nothing but horrible stuff for you and your loved ones… may all of your kind die! Pendejo de mierda vete mucho a la chingada perro de puta!

      GUEST said:
      April 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      That's right blame the system…Thank you Diane for your unintelligent input. Wishing death upon someone is the same as soliciting a "death threat." Gracias para tu repuesta llena de mierda puta cabrona pendeja mendiga. Felicidades, you are the newfound recipient of karma.

    Ms. Roca said:
    April 4, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    it's not the Mexican's fault and its not the system's fault. it's fault of the uneducated people who decided to shoot these innocent children. you cant blame anyone for your own fault. the system shouldn't have to be behind your ass all day, neither can your parents. so lets try to educate ourselves and those among us the most we can, and put those ones who just cant learn, behind bars. most people have no morals now days.

    Michael said:
    April 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I'm with Ms. Roca here. A non-racist approach. So here we've got folks that hate Mexican's even though they contribute significantly to our economy in many ways. If you have such an issue with Mexicans you should maybe not live in San DIego. Minnesota, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas may be great for you. I'm amazed and apalled at what people will say about the community they live in when they can easily leave is they feel the issues bury them. The kids were good kids, who knows where they'd have gone in life, they'll never know becuase some gangster wanted rep. Well, I hope he gets shower rep for the crime.

    Unknown said:
    April 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Your "homie" took the easy road they all pc'd up. Obviously he did something.

      megan said:
      May 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      were you there to know the story? if not STFU

    T said:
    August 26, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    These kids were up to no good and in the wrong place at the wrong time! Hope the guilty ones pay!

    Toonz said:
    May 11, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Honestly for one if you don’t know the victims or the suspects then stfu.Those fools were my homeboys but now they’re no good.Everythings fucked up cuz there’s no order anymore no one sent them to go on a mission they chose to go on their own and quit victimizing the so called victims cuz true they were young but they knew the consequence that comes with being a gang member or being affiliates.Tell me why she has pics throwing up Mesa.Wtf were they doing out so late at a spot the mesa locos kick it at?

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