On September 5th, 2018 a Merced County jury found Norteno criminal street gang members Jose Hernandez and David Zamora, both 23, guilty of two counts of murder for the April 2015 shooting that killed 36-year-old Salvador Medina and 18-year-old Jose Zamora, announced the Merced County District Attorney’s office.
Evidence against both defendants was obtained from a 2015 wiretap
operation entitled, “Operation Red Right Hand,” which targeted violent Norteno criminal street gang members. The operation was conducted jointly by the Department of Justice and local law enforcement agencies.
On April 6, 2015 the defendants drove to Winton, a known rival criminal street gang territory, intending to kill a rival gang member. Defendant David Zamora was the driver, Defendant Jose Hernandez was the front seat passenger, and in the backseat were Mr. Zamora’s 18-year-old brother, Jose
Zamora, and Mr. Hernandez’s 13-year-old brother.
The two younger brothers were both armed with loaded guns. After arriving in Winton, the two armed younger brothers exited the backseat of the car, and confronted Salvador Medina, as both defendants waited down
the street as lookouts and a getaway driver.
After the confrontation, Mr. Medina produced a handgun and a shootout ensued, killing both Mr. Medina and Jose Zamora. The defendants fled the scene with their younger brothers. Defendant David Zamora was captured heavily on the wiretap as he made numerous phone calls following the murder attempting to destroy evidence
with the assistance of fellow gang members.
Mr. Medina did not have any known ties to criminal street gangs. The defendants will be sentenced October 24 at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 6. Both men face life without the possibility of parole.