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Sheriff: Homicide Victim Not a Gang Member

Detectives are still searching for the suspect in Tuesday evening's gunshot slaying on Dutchman Road.

Ralph Cendejas was not a documented gang member but likely was killed by someone with gang ties, sheriff's detectives reported Thursday afternoon.

He was struck five times at close range, according to his family, and died at the scene.

Detectives have said he was targeted by the gunman, but have not determined the motive for the killing. No arrests have been made.

"While there are persons with gang ties and membership associated with this investigation, this is not a 'rival' gang incident," Lt. Fred Plagemen of the Sheriff's Office Investigations Bureau reported in a prepared statement Thursday. "The motive for this murder is still under investigation."

Plageman also said Cendejas wasn't armed when he was killed.

he had been unemployed for a couple of years and had trouble with drugs in the past. Recently, people had been coming around looking for him, possibly about a debt.

Cendejas lived down the street from where he was slain. He is survived by three sons.

Anyone with information about the shooting should contact the Investigations Bureau at 831-454-2311 or the anonymous tip line at 831-454-2847.

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