Pair charged with murder

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Testimony from two juvenile females led to Friday’s arrest of Edward Salas, 21, for the slaying of a 10-year-old Clovis boy, officials said.

Police also issued an arrest warrant for Noe Torres, 26, who is also charged with murder in connection with Thursday’s shooting death of Carlos Perez. Torres remained at large on Friday.

The two females, not named by police, said they were in a vehicle with Torres and Salas on the night of the killing, according to a press release from Clovis Police Department Lt. James Schoeffel. Torres and Salas parked the vehicle across the street from the apartment complex where Carlos lived, the release said.

The females said they heard “a rapid succession of gunshots” and “moments after,” Torres and Salas returned to the vehicle and “smelled similar to a burning match,” the press release said.

Carlos was shot early Thursday morning while asleep in his bed. He died from a gunshot wound to the head. Nine bullets were shot through the window of the apartment complex where he lived. His older brother, Ruben Perez, a Clovis High School student, shared a bedroom with Carlos and was in the room at the time of the shooting. Police and family members have said Ruben had an altercation with Orlando Salas, also a high school student, in school on Wednesday. The dispute, according to police reports, stemmed from past arguments involving different members of the boys’ families.

The homicide investigation led to the arrest of five members of the Salas family.

An unidentified person who answered a phone at the residence of Edward and Demetrio Salas refused to comment on Friday.

The victim’s aunt, Minerba Bailon, said she wants anyone connected to the shooting to remain in jail. She said the victim’s family “did not deserve this.”

Bailon said Carlos’ mother, Lupe Perez, donated her son’s organs following his death early Thursday evening.

“Despite the fact that she is suffering,” said Bailon, the sister of Lupe, “she is thinking about others in need. She was a loving mother — always there for her kids. She raised them by herself,” said Bailon after making funeral arrangements for Carlos.

“I hope whoever did this pays for what they did,” she said.