Merced Police Department responded to the 2800 Block of 8th Avenue for a fight in progress with reports of shots fired. Witnesses advised two suspects were assaulting a victim and that they had heard a gunshot. Responding officers were told that the suspects reportedly ran to a vehicle and fled the area.
Incident happened on November 5, 2019.
Merced Police officers Levi Crain and Jennifer Shaw contacted two confidential victims who told them that the incident started as a family dispute and that the suspects came to the home to assault one of the victims, according to a press release.
One suspect, Daniel Zavala, confronted the victim and pulled out a handgun. The victim grabbed Zavala and they started fighting for control of the gun. During this time, the second suspect, Jacob Guzman, kicked and hit the victim causing injury. The gun discharged while the Zavala and the victim struggled over control but no one was injured. After the gunshot, suspect Leah Zavala, drove Guzman and Zavala away from the scene.
Leah and Daniel Zavala returned to the residence where they were detained and questioned by officers. During the investigation a firearm was located in the suspect vehicle.
Merced Police officers Tucker Zazueta and Nicolas Rosales located the second suspect, Guzman, in the area of Bear Creek Drive and G Street. When the officers searched the immediate area, they located Guzman’s backpack that contained two more firearms.
Daniel Zavala is an active Norteno gang member and on parole. Jacob Guzman is an active Norteno gang member.
Leah Zavala was arrested for Carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, Conspiracy to commit a crime, Accessory to a crime, Carrying a loaded firearm to commit a felony and Assault with a Deadly Weapon likely to produce great bodily injury.
Daniel Zavala was arrested for Convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Prohibited person in possession of ammunition, Carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, Street Gang Act, Street Gang Act/convicted felon, Assault with a deadly weapon (firearm), Assault with a Deadly Weapon likely to produce great bodily injury, Conspiracy to commit a crime, Accessory to a crime and a felony warrant.
Jacob Guzman was arrested for Street Gang Act, Criminal Street Gang Conduct, Assault with a deadly weapon (firearm), Assault with a Deadly Weapon likely to produce great bodily injury, Conspiracy to commit a crime, Accessory to a crime, Carrying a loaded firearm to commit a felony, and Carrying a loaded firearm in a Public Place.
All three suspects were booked in the Merced County Jail.
Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Sergeant Rey Alvarez at 209 388-7705 or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725.