Three people nabbed after man shot multiple times in Merced

March 11, 2011 

Three people were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 40-year-old man was shot Wednesday night in Merced.

The shooting was reported about 9 p.m. in the 1700 block of H Street. Police arrested two 19-year-old men: John Vasquez and Gilbert Mendez, both of Merced. A 17-year-old boy was also taken into custody, according to Merced police Lt. Roger McIntyre.

Police dispatchers received several calls of shots fired. The Merced County sheriff's STAR Team and federal agents happened to be in the area when the shooting occurred. The sheriff's deputies and federal agents pursued and arrested the three suspects in the area of G and 20th streets.

Meanwhile, police attended to the victim, who had been shot several times in the hand, leg and back. He was flown to a Modesto hospital. His wounds didn't appear to be life-threatening, police said.

Police learned the suspects confronted the victim and knocked him to the ground. While the victim was on the ground, the suspects took out a gun and stole his backpack, police said. One of the suspects then shot the victim while he was still on the ground, police said.

Vasquez and Mendez were booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery. The 17-year-old was taken to juvenile hall on the same charges.

Police ask anyone with information to call the department's tip line at (209) 385-4725 or Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702. Anonymous tips can be text messaged to the department by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the keyword.

Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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