MERCED — After responding to a report of shots fired in north Merced on Saturday at 8:25 p.m., Merced police officers found a 19-year-old man shot in the leg.
Officers identified several bullets had hit an apartment building near Austin Avenue and Conestoga Drive. The victim was found nearly two blocks away, suffering from one gunshot wound in the upper left thigh.
The victim was taken to a Modesto hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Shortly after the incident, officers with the gang violence suppression unit noticed a Silver Hyundai quickly driving away from an area near the shooting. The officers stopped the car in the 1200 block of Loughborough.
A passenger in the vehicle, identified as Demetre Herrera, had a loaded handgun. Herrera was arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of a firearm.
It is unknown at this time if Herrera was involved with the shooting, authorities said. Herrera is a validated gang member. Authorities say the unidentified victim is also involved in gangs.
Police ask anyone with any information about the crime to call (209) 385-6913, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send anonymous text messages to police department by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "COMVIP" in the text message.
Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.