Investigators say a group of kids was playing in front of a house when the children noticed a green four-door car drive by very slowly with three people inside.
Witnesses reported hearing the suspects yell gang slurs. The kids ran inside the house.
A short time later, one of the suspects opened fire on the house with a large caliber handgun -- striking the 12-year-old boy in the lower back.
Deputy Tom Mackenzie said, "Well, 12, 13 obviously they're out at one o'clock in the morning. Even though they're out in front of a house that is late to be out for that age of a kid. Like I said, we don't have any indication the kids were doing anything wrong. They were just hanging out in front of a house."
The boy was transported to the hospital and is expected to survive. Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff's Department.