General Crime

* Brian Young identified as Santa Cruz homicide victim James Alexander Oehler arrested as suspect

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Santa Cruz police have identified Brian Young as the 26-year-old man who was fatally shot Friday.Young died at a hospital after officers found him about 5:40 p.m. suffering from multiple gunshot wounds on a pathway along the Branciforte Creek near the 300 block of Dakota Avenue, according to police.The suspect, James Alexander Oehler, 23, a resident of unincorporated Felton, was arrested Saturday in connection with Young’s murder. Police said the shooting was likely the result of a drug transaction gone bad, or potentially an intentional “drug rip off.” Oehler was found at the crime scene late Saturday morning allegedly trying to find the gun, police said. He was booked into county jail on suspicion of murder and other related charges, police said.Young lived at a homeless shelter in Santa Cruz and had a history of drug-related arrests in the area, police said. Narcotics were recovered at the scene, police said. The semi-automatic handgun believed to be the murder weapon was also recovered at the scene by a police dog that found it buried under several inches of dirt in thick underbrush and poison oak, police said.

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