A 24-year-old man sustained a gunshot wound at about 1 a.m. Thursday during a fight at the La Cascada Bar and Nightclub on the 2600 block of Santa Fe Road, said deputy Tom MacKenzie, Merced County Sheriff's Department spokesman.
The victim suffered a single gunshot wound to the left side of his chest and a laceration to his head. He was listed in critical condition Thursday.
Witnesses said there were two groups -- about 10 people total -- involved in an altercation that started inside the bar. After security broke up the fight, one of the groups went outside and the altercation continued, MacKenzie said.
During the fight, witnesses said, they heard gunshots. The victim was able to get away from the suspect as people fled the area.
Deputies responded to the scene after receiving reports of shots fired and a man down. When they arrived, the victim already had been taken to Mercy Medical Center Merced by his friends and later was flown to a Modesto hospital for surgery.
The cause of the fight is unknown, and the incident remains under investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff's Department at (209) 385-7472. Callers can remain anonymous.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.