Merced Co. deputy shot while responding to disturbance, suspect in custody

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One person is in custody after a Merced County Sheriff's deputy was shot near Livingston early on Wednesday morning.

The Merced County Sheriff's SWAT team, detectives, and K9 officers swarmed the rural area east of Livingston after he was shot.

The deputy had been called to a home on Yamato Road just after midnight for some sort of disturbance.

"It sounds like as soon as he rolled up, he was taking shots. He took a couple of rounds himself and he got out and returned fire," said Deputy Daryl Allen of the Merced County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy is fairly new to the sheriff's office and was patrolling the area alone. He called for backup in the midst of the gun battle, which arrived from Livingston Police as well as his own department.

Firefighters also responded to provide medical aid to the deputy, who only had minor injuries thanks to his vest.

"That's probably the most important piece of equipment that officers and deputies wear is that bulletproof vest, and that probably saved his life today," said Allen.

This comes less than three months after a Merced County sergeant was also shot in the vest.

Back in September, Sergeant Clint Landrum was shot in the vest and leg while searching for a domestic violence suspect near Dos Palos. He spoke about that close call in an exclusive interview with Action News.

"The first one kind of took my breath away, but then the second one to the leg put me down," Landrum had said.

Investigators are now trying to figure out what led up to this latest shooting. They found a large marijuana grow on the property and took one person into custody but have not released many other details.

One neighbor we spoke with says he's never seen anything like this in the 94 years he's lived here.

"It was surprising that someone got shot around here. I'm glad he had a vest on that stopped the bullet," said Sherman Kishi.

At this point, authorities are not saying if the person in custody was wounded at all, and they're still trying to determine if there are any other suspects.

Sheriff Vern Warnke was out at the scene all night.
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