Shooting spree in Merced injures two

MERCED, Calif.

Police say the first shooting took place at 4:42 Sunday afternoon on West 19th Street near Martin Luther King Junior Way. Four minutes later, a 30-year-old man was shot on East 23rd street near Orchard Avenue. Less than 20 minutes later, a 15-year-old boy was shot while riding his bike on Parsons Avenue and East 27th Street.

Merced detectives say the shootings are gang related and were all carried out by four males in a light colored sedan. As for the two victims-police do not know if they have any gang ties. It's possible they were simply targeted for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

John Batt describes a frightening scene outside his west 19th Street apartment Sunday when four males approached his 19-year-old son and started shooting.

"They started shooting, and the bullets were hitting the ground," said Batt, "It hit his pants, but it didn't hit him."

Batt says his son is not in a gang. He believes he was targeted because he was wearing shorts with the color red on them. Fortunately, he walked away without any injuries.

During another shooting, which occurred just four minutes later, and about a mile away -- a 30-year-old man wasn't so lucky.

Tashima Vingara was inside her home with her fiance and young son, when Police say the same four males approached the man as he was pushing his broken down car down East 23rd Street. Without saying a word, one of the males started shooting the man from inside their car-striking him several times. It happened right next to a playground in an area surrounded by kids.

"The guy was lying on the floor, and he was already being helped by the time we got out here," said Tashima Vingara.

"We had just been at the park a half hour earlier, which was I mean, 20 feet from where it happened," said Johnny Shamoun.

Less than 20 minutes after the second shooting, investigators say the same four people drove up next to a 15-year-old boy and his friends, as they rode bikes on Parsons near East 27th Street. They asked the teen what gang he was in. He rode away and ignored the males. That's when someone opened fire-hitting the teen more than once.

"Well, people should be concerned and that concern should turn into action, and that action is being getting involved in their own neighborhoods and whenever they see any suspicious activity, contact the police," said Lt. Andre Matthews.

The 30-year-old man was airlifted to a Modesto hospital. Both he, and the 15-year-old boy are expected to survive.

If you have any information, call Merced Police.

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