Man dead after downtown Merced shooting

FRESNO, Calif.

Investigators say Donald Risner died from gunshot wounds late Friday night. The shooting happened in the area of 18th and I Street.

Investigators say the victim, Donald Risner, was trying to recover a bicycle that was stolen earlier this year. They say he confronted the person who he thought had stolen his bicycle on Friday night and police say that's when the suspect shot him multiple times.

On Saturday, Melba Sanchez was reeling from Friday night's shooting. "I heard six shots, first two, and then I heard four more, "said Sanchez. Sanchez says she was in her house, a block away when it happened.

The Merced Police Department says an officer patrolling the area at about 10:30 that night also heard the shots. When police arrived on scene they found 42 year-old Donald Risner, affectionately called, "Pie" by his friends, lying in the street with gunshot wounds.

Risner was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Investigators say they now have a motive behind the shooting.

Sgt. Scott Skinner with the Merced Police Department said, "Mr. Risner may have had his bicycle stolen sometime earlier in the year and he might have confronted the individual who he believed was responsible in that."

Police are now looking for the suspect who they say was seen riding away on a bicycle right after the shooting. Investigators have a limited description of the suspect. Police are currently also looking for at least 20 people who stabbed and beat a man in the same area on Wednesday night.

Neighbors tell Action News they are scared to be outside after dark. Thomas Sanchez said, "In the daytime it looks good. It doesn't look bad at all, but come night time, it completely changes."

Merced police say this is the first homicide in the city of Merced this year. If you have any information on Friday night's shooting, call the Merced Police Department.

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