Murder of Novato Teen Prompts Saturday Search

While investigating the "shocking" murder of a Novato high school student, the Marin County Sheriff's department and San Rafael Police Department searched a home Saturday, possibly in an attempt to locate a third suspect. 

Police did not release additional information on Saturday's raid, but the coroner on Friday identified the shooting victim as Edwin Josue Ramirez Guerra, 17, of San Rafael. Forensic tests scheduled for early next week are expected to help officials determine the cause and manner of death.

The shooting has rocked the Novato community, according to the mayor. 

"The past two days have sent shock waves throughout our town," said Mayor Pat Eklund, who described her hometown as a "peaceful" and "safe community."

"These crimes are not a normal occurrence" in Novato, Eklund stressed.

Marin County sheriff's deputies, Novato police and search-and-rescue teams raided two homes Thursday afternoon and arrested two Novato High School students, both minors.

Tactical teams first secured a residence near Rowland and Novato boulevards where they detained one homicide suspect, Marin sheriff's officials said.

The teams then moved to a second location on the 1400 block of Leafwood Drive, where a second suspect was detained.

Search teams also combed the hillside near the Marin Country Club neighborhood, where the attack occurred. The lone surviving student is said to be improving, deputies said.

Investigators have not revealed a motive, but addressed reports that an alleged sexual assault off-campus might be related.

"We’re aware of that case," said Pittman, who didn’t know of any "connection direct" to the ongoing investigation.

"It does involve minors who live in the area so the reality is we know that there are some common names," he added.

Eklund offered condolences to the victims' families and assured them that officials are doing everything they can to solve this case.

"Violence will not be tolerated in our city," she said. "Any life lost is one life too many – not in our town."

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