Teenage Shooting Victim Recovering from Surgery

September 22, 2008 6:14:46 PM PDT
A fourteen year old Merced County boy is recovering from surgery after being shot on Sunday.Merced County Sheriff's Deputies say the 14 year old was in this area with his friend Sunday when a stray bullet pierced his chest. He is expected to survive, but detectives are still searching for suspects.

Merced County Sheriff's Deputies say at least six young men were involved in a fight that spanned several blocks in this area of Planada on Sunday.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie says "During that argument someone brandished a gun, and a shot was fired and unfortunately the 14 year old victim, an innocent bystander on the side of the street."

Deputy Tom MacKenzie says the 14 year old had nothing to do with the brawl, but ended up with a bullet wound to his chest. Investigators say the boy's friend helped him make it to the nearby Broadway Market where they happened to find two good samaritans. They say one woman drove the friend home while another rushed the victim to the hospital. He was later flown to a Modesto hospital in critical condition.

Deputy MacKenzie says "As of 1:30 this morning, he had come out of an operation he was in stable but critical condition, he's still in a Modesto hospital, and we're hoping he pulls through it, he seems to give every indication he will."

Neighbors who did not want to speak on camera say the teen is a good kid who's not known to cause trouble or interact with gang members. Detectives are not speculating on whether the fight that led to the shooting was gang related, but they're actively seeking answers.

Deputy MacKenzie says "Now that he's out of surgery, they will interview the victim and try to get possible reasons where the suspect is, try to get witnesses that were there and follow up with that and try to nail down whoever did this."

The Sheriff's Department is still hoping to interview the woman who drove the victim to the hospital and the woman who drove his friend home.

They're asking those good samaritans and anyone else with information to call Detective Chuck Hale at 209-385-7472.

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