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Marine Who Served in Iraq Slain in Calif.

January 15, 2005

CERES, Calif. (AP) _ Police said Friday that a young Marine who was killed by police after he shot and killed an officer and wounded another was also a gang member who had recorded a videotaped insult to President Bush before he died.

Andres Raya, 19, was killed Sunday after he initiated a second gunfight with police as they pursued him for the earlier shooting, authorities said.

``By the statements the suspect made at the scene, it was clear he wanted to die and take as many cops down as he could in the process,″ Lt. Bill Heyne, lead investigator for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, told the San Francisco Chronicle. ``This officer was executed.″

Ceres Police Sgt. Howard Stevenson, 39, died from multiple gun shots Sunday evening in a gunfight outside a convenience store. The second officer, Sam Ryno, 50, was shot several times and was in stable condition Friday at a hospital.

Raya was later shot down in an alley after a second confrontation with officers who had converged on the scene. A toxicology report found that he had a significant amount of cocaine in his bloodstream, police said.

Authorities said Raya was a gang member; Stanslaus County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jason Woodman said Raya had minor offenses as a juvenile, but no record as an adult.

Authorities also discovered a video camera and tape seized on Dec. 28 after a burglary at Ceres High School. On the tape, authorities said Raya can be seen smoking what appears to be marijuana, bragging about graffiti tagging he’d done and ``throwing″ gang signs. The videotape also shows a cut-up American flag laid on a gymnasium floor to spell out expletives directed at President Bush.

Raya joined the Marines after high school graduation and had served one tour in Iraq, according to officials at Camp Pendleton, where he was based. He was supposed to have reported for duty back at Pendleton on Sunday after a holiday leave. Marine Corps officials said his unit was not scheduled for an immediate return to Iraq.

Raya’s family and friends said something seemed to have happened to him when he was in Iraq.

Though he spoke little about it during the holidays, Raya eventually told his parents, ``’I just don’t want to go back,‴ his mother, Julia, told KPIX-TV. She said they hugged him and tried to give him the best Christmas they could.

One Marine who met Raya in Iraq, Lance Cpl. Sarah Carroll, told the Modesto Bee that at one point Raya said his morning supply convoy had gone over a roadside bomb.

``(Raya) said the convoy had one fatality and said how upset he was that it was the other guy and not him,″ Carroll said. ``It seemed like an odd comment, because I didn’t get the impression that he knew the guy or had been close to the bomb.″

Update hourly