Coalinga boy recovering after being shot; police searching for suspects

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What happened in Coalinga Wednesday night makes its police chief angry, but also determined. (KFSN)

What happened in Coalinga Wednesday night makes its police chief angry, but also determined.

"We just want to find the shooter," Chief Michael Salvador said.

Salvador said officers responded to shots fired on East Valley Street at around 10:30 Wednesday night, and quickly learned of a shooting victim nearby. Officers found a 10-year-old boy suffering from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The boy was in critical condition, and airlifted to a Fresno hospital, where he had emergency surgery.

Thursday morning, Salvador got some good news that the boy's condition improved, and is now expected to survive. He said there were at least five shots, and the shooting appears to be gang-related, but the boy was not the intended target.

Police said it appears he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Police are now investigating whether this shooting is connected to another shooting that happened on Father's Day weekend.

"If anybody saw a car leaving, if anybody saw people running past their front yards, or their dogs were barking and then they saw someone run past there, they may have had the lighting conducive to identifying these people running," Salvador said. "That's the type of information that we're looking for."

David Ortiz lives in the area, but didn't hear any shots. After seeing that police had blocked off his street, he posted to a Facebook group, asking if anyone knew what was going on.

A family member of the boy said the 10-year-old had been shot.

"I was just shocked," Ortiz said. "I mean why would anyone shoot a child?"

We also spoke with a different relative off-camera, who says the boy was walking with his mother, sister, cousin, and two other children when the shooting happened.

They were reportedly going to one of those children's homes to pick up clothes for a sleepover.

"There's no reason that a 10-year-old boy needs to be sitting in a hospital injured for just walking down the street," Salvador said.

Anyone with information on this shooting is encouraged to call the Coalinga Police Department's Tip Line: 559-935-3206.

Related Topics:
shootingfresno countychild shotCoalinga
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