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.
“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.