16-year-old boy who dreamed of being a chef now fighting for his life after Merced shooting

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A North Valley mother says her son remains in the hospital after a suspect opened fire on a group of Merced teens.

The 16-year-old just had a second surgery on Wednesday night but he remains critical.

Police arrested the shooter earlier this week.

Patrick Amador's family is left with more questions than answers.

His mother, who didn't want her name used, is still shocked by what happened.

"Why wasn't it safe enough for him to be walking down Main Street?" she says.

Patrick was one of several teens walking down Main Street a week ago and are seen here on surveillance video.

Moments later, police say the alleged shooter, 48-year-old Daniel Mays, opened fire on the teens, injuring five of them, including Patrick.

"The bullet entered his forehead, and ended up lodging in the back of his head.. may never remove it," says his grandmother.

The department's SWAT unit arrested Mays at his residence just steps from where the shooting occurred on Tuesday.

Merced Police say Mays has a history of gang crime.

Patrick's mother says none of the teens, however, are gang members and were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"None of the boys are gang affiliated... no arrest history. My son's a skateboarder," she says.

The 16-year-old's mother is now hoping for the best.

She says he's a sophomore in high school, with big dreams and a bigger heart.

"He'll be in the kitchen with me, cooking new things. He loves culinary school. He wanted to be a chef," she says.

His mother, who's also a college student, has put her own graduation on hold to care for her son, who remains hospitalized in Modesto.

Patrick has a long and uncertain road ahead of him but his family is holding on to hope.

The family has a GoFundMe. Click here if you want to contribute.
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