Shotgun linked to bike attack, Merced police say

Sun-Star staffApril 30, 2013 

Merced police say detectives have obtained a shotgun they believe was used in last week's shooting of a bicyclist riding on the Fahrens Park bike path.

The sawed-off shotgun was found in the possession of a 17-year-old boy. Sgt. Scott Skinner said police found the weapon during a search of the juvenile's residence in the 3200 block of San Mateo Court. Police responded to the boy's residence after receiving a tip he might be involved in the Fahrens Park incident.

The boy, who's on probation, was keeping the gun in his bedroom, police said. Detectives found a small amount of methamphetamine, which they said the juvenile admitted was for personal use.

Although the juvenile was in possession of the shotgun, Skinner said it's unclear whether the boy was involved in the shooting. Thus far, the suspect faces charges of possessing the shotgun and violating his probation.

The victim, a 22-year-old man, was riding his bike near R Street and Buena Vista Drive the night of April 23 when he was shot. Officers responded at 9:15 p.m. and found the victim near San Rafael Court.

The victim reported to police he was riding his bicycle on the path when an unidentified man approached him and demanded his bicycle.

The victim said he rode away from the assailant, who then fired. Police said the victim was shot in the back with a shotgun, but he was able to ride to San Ra-fael Court. He received medical treatment.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Detective Chris Russell at (209) 385-4707 or the department's tipline at (209) 385-4725. Tips are kept confidential and can remain anonymous.

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