Two shootings reported in Atwater

vpatton@mercedsunstar.comDecember 3, 2012 

— Two people were injured in a shooting Monday afternoon, and another was unhurt in a separate shooting Sunday night, police reported.

The two victims, males in their teens or early 20s, are expected to survive their injuries. Police believe the motive for the shooting is gang-related.

The incident was reported at 2:15 p.m. after two groups of people had been arguing in the 1300 block of Winton Way, according to Lt. Sam Joseph.

About five people were involved in the incident. A fight ensued between the two sides, and someone pulled a gun and fired, according to police.

The shooter and others involved in the fight fled the scene, and may have gotten into an SUV-type vehicle, police said. Police and paramedics responded to the scene. One of the victims was flown to a Modesto hospital, while the other person was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

A separate shooting was reported Sunday night in the 2900 block of Secretariat Drive, Atwater police said.

Officers were dispatched to the scene at 7:13 p.m. after receiving a call of shots fired. The victim told police he was near his front door when he saw a black or Latino male wearing a dark-colored plaid sweater, sitting on a beach cruiser-style bicycle about a half a block away under a street light, according to Lt. Sam Joseph.

The male on the bicycle then pulled out a handgun and fired two shots at the victim, Joseph said. The shooter fled the scene in a southbound direction.

The victim wasn't hit.

Officers searched the surrounding area but were unable to locate the shooter or any evidence of bullet strikes or shell casings at the scene. No additional witnesses were present, according to police.

Police said that although the victim isn't a gang member, the building where the incident happened is said to be a known gang hangout.

City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsunstar.com.

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