He threatened two people with a knife, then was shot and killed, Merced deputies say

Authorities have released the identity of a man shot and killed early Sunday morning at a party in Merced County after he brandished a knife on two people, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

The man has been identified as 48-year-old Mario Quinonez of Atwater, according to Merced County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen.

Investigators were called out to a home in the 14000 block of Green House Road, in a rural area near the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, according to Merced County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen.

“They were having some sort of party at the location when things went sideways,” Allen said, adding the shooting was being classified as self-defense.

The 48-year-old man was drinking during the party and got into an argument with a woman, Allen said.

According to investigators, the man then turned the knife toward another man who was defending the woman. The second man, “in fear for his life,” took out a gun and shot the 48-year-old man.

No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting, Allen said Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the shooter.

Anyone with information on the incident is being asked to contact Detective Vicki Bonilla at 209-385-7472.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.