Man shot in stomach critical near Los Banos

A man is shot in front of his daughter near Charleston Elementary School in Merced County.
October 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Law enforcement agencies from across Merced County converged on a rural elementary school after getting reports of a shooting victim.

Los Banos Unified Superintendent Dr. Steve Tietjen said, "This morning about 8:15 a student entered the school office at Charleston School and reported to a school administrator her father had been shot and was outside the school."

The principal immediately locked down the campus, then went outside to check on the victim. He found the man lying across the street near a car. Authorities later discovered someone drove the victim and his daughter to the campus after he was shot about a mile away at this home. A large warning sign and several dogs are easily visible from the road, but the motive is not yet clear.

"There's a few parties involved in this incident," said Deputy Delray Shelton. "Some sort of altercation transpired, a firearm was pulled out, a person was shot."

The victim was flown to a Modesto area hospital, and authorities arrested the suspect less than an hour later. That's when the lockdown was lifted. Christine Ruiz says her son stayed calm throughout the ordeal thanks to recent drills.

"They had been practicing the lockdown since the beginning of school, they have a program in place, and everything went very very well," said Ruiz. "They did exactly what they were supposed to do."

The superintendent says in cases like this one the district notifies parents through letters sent home by the end of the day.

Tietjen explained, "That's what we want parents to know when these types of things happen, it's best to wait for contact from the school because police will have locked down the roadway into a campus if there is a problem, and that's what happened this morning."

The names of the suspect and victim have not yet been released. The victim had surgery, and he is in critical condition.

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