Crime

Man held in deaths of wife, brother

A Fresno man has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of his estranged wife and her brother early Friday at the victims' home in northwest Fresno.

Moses Mejia, 38, allegedly got a ride in a cab to the victims' home, somehow entered the residence, shot the victims and then left in the same cab, according to police.

The Fresno County Coroner's Office identified the victims as Sandra Luevano, 38, and Javier Castro, in his 20s.

Mejia was taken into custody about an hour later after he was traced to a friend's home in the 3800 block of East Orleans Avenue in southeast Fresno, Lt. Mark Salazar said.

Mejia allegedly was found in possession of a handgun, but Salazar said it was not immediately determined whether the gun was used in the killings.

A motive has not been determined, but Salazar said that on Thursday the woman had obtained an emergency protective order against Mejia.

The order never was served because Mejia could not be found on Thursday, Salazar said. It was not clear why the woman had obtained the order, he said.

The couple had been married for about five years but reportedly had just recently become separated, he said.

The shooting was reported at 6:26 a.m. at 3941 N. Crystal Ave. just south of West Pontiac Way from someone inside the house, Salazar said.

Salazar said he did not know who made the call, but that he understood there were other people inside -- including several of Luevano's children -- when the shooting occurred.

Mejia and Luevano had no children in common, Salazar said.

The victims were treated at the scene by paramedics before they were taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where they died minutes apart shortly before 7:30 a.m., Salazar said.

Domonique Brugetti, 28, who lives nearby, said she was shocked when she learned of the killings after police started arriving.

Brugetti said she had been up since about 6 a.m. and did not hear any shots and no indication of any trouble from the victims' home.

Brugetti, who moved into the neighborhood only three months ago, said she didn't know much about the people who lived in the house where the shooting occurred.

The slayings are the 41st and 42nd this year in the city, compared with 33 at this time last year, Salazar said.

The killings brought the number of homicides in August to 10, the deadliest month this year. Police homicide statistics show two in January, five in February, one in March, six in April, five in May, eight in June and five in July.

The city did not have its 42nd homicide last year until Nov. 6, Salazar said. Fresno ended with 52 slayings last year.

Salazar said Friday's killings remain under investigation, and that anyone with information should contact detective Brad Alcorn at (559) 621-2442 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

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