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Authorities identified two suspects Tuesday in the shooting death of a Waltham teenager and appealed for the public’s help in tracking them down, warning that one of the men is considered armed and dangerous.

Law enforcement officials issued arrest warrants for Domingo Mendes, 22, of Belmont, who is wanted on a murder charge, and Taylor Poulin, 21, of Newton, who faces an assault and battery charge in the March 20 slaying of Tyler Zanco, 17 and a senior at Waltham High School.

Both men are also wanted on gun possession and drug charges, and investigators are looking at the killing as potentially drug-related, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter.


“It is alleged that the suspects and the victim were known to each other and that this was not a random attack,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Waltham Police Chief Keith MacPherson said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Ryan declined to say how investigators identified the men as suspects or discuss a potential motive.

Authorities released photographs of the suspects and described Mendes as black, 5-foot-10, and 165 pounds. Poulin was described as white, 6 feet, and 220 pounds, and may be driving a black 2002 Ford Explorer, they said.

Zanco, a standout wrestler who dreamed of joining the Marine Corps, was found shot in an apartment parking lot, shortly after 10 p.m. March 20. A resident of the complex who witnessed the shooting said Zanco and another man were fighting on the ground when a third man shot him from a few feet away.

When Zanco ran, the man shot him two more times. The two suspects then jumped into a car and drove away, the witness told the Globe.

Zanco’s uncle, Anthony Ferranti, said Tuesday that he was pleased that suspects had been identified and hoped they would be captured quickly.


“We’re all bitter,” he said. “This kid wouldn’t hurt a fly. This should have never happened.

“What they did to my nephew, they should have done to them,” he added.

Ferranti said he did not recognize the names of the suspects.

Zanco’s friends said in recent days that they struggled to understand why he would have been targeted, describing him as a popular athlete with a strong work ethic. The night before he was killed, Zanco was honored at the school for his achievements as captain of the wrestling team, a friend said.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday at Sacred Heart Church in Waltham. An online fund to pay for the services — www.gofundme.com/7pfxx8 — has raised $28,000.

Maria Cramer of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.