A 55-year-old Wheatland man was shot to death on G Street early Wednesday morning, according to the Wheatland Police Department.
At around 12:45 a.m. WPD received a 911 call that a shooting had taken place in the 200 block of G Street. Ralph Mendez was found by law enforcement officers with a gunshot wound. Lifesaving measures were performed but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the department.
An investigation determined that Rory Banks, 44, of Wheatland, was the shooting suspect. Banks was taken into custody without incident and booked into Yuba County Jail for murder and residential burglary. The weapon allegedly used in the fatal shooting was recovered at the scene.
“This was not a random act,” said Wheatland Police Chief Damiean Sylvester on Wednesday. “We believe the victim was targeted by the suspect.”
He said all indications are that Mendez and Banks did not know each other. An investigation is ongoing into a possible motive for the shooting.
On Wednesday afternoon law enforcement investigated a suspicious device in the 100 block of McCurry Street in Wheatland Ranch. The search warrant was part of the homicide investigation. WPD evacuated the area of people within 300-500 feet of the device. At around 6:30 p.m., the department announced that evacuated residents could return.
“The device was safely removed, it was determined to not be an explosive device,” Sylvester said.
The Yuba County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Justice are assisting with the investigation. As of late Wednesday, Banks remained in Yuba County Jail and is ineligible for bail.