The Merced County Sheriff’s Department has released the names of the victims of Friday night’s double homicide and the man who allegedly shot them.
Merced Sheriff’s investigators have identified the two victims as Rhonda Cupit-Hiatt, 47, of Mariposa, and her sister Lisa Dennis-Robbins, 51, who resided at the Lander Avenue residence where the homicide took place.
Brian Scott Hiatt, 49, of Mariposa, allegedly shot and killed his wife, Cupit-Hiatt, from whom he was allegedly separated, and her sister, Dennis-Robbins, with a handgun in the backyard of the Merced County residence shortly before 8 p.m. Friday.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Coroner Division has cited the cause of death for both victims as multiple gunshot wounds. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Leo Parraz, a handyman who was asked to fix the door at Robbins’ residence, told CentralValleyTV that he believed Cupit-Hiatt had left Mariposa to escape her husband.
"Brian was abusive, but I didn't know he was capable of this," Parraz told CentralValleyTV. "When I saw Brian show up, Lisa told them both, 'You need to talk because I don't want any problems.' They both went into the backyard. I didn't want to get in the middle of their business, so I left."
Hiatt was shot and killed by Merced County Sheriff’s deputies after a confrontation at approximately 5:20 a.m. Saturday in Turlock.
Hiatt was involved in the confrontation with two Merced County Sheriff’s deputies in the 200 block of South Walnut Road, outside of the Motel 6, said Turlock police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis. The Turlock Police Department is currently investigating the officer-involved shooting.
Merced Sheriff’s Investigating Double Homicide on Lander Avenue