Los Banos man held in shooting that led to school shutdown

Sun-Star staffOctober 31, 2013 

— Authorities said one man remained hospitalized Thursday and another was behind bars a day after a shooting in a rural area outside Los Banos.

Roger E. Sutton, 64, was shot in the abdomen about 8:30a.m. Wednesday at a home on Jersey Road south of Charleston Road, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department said.

Sutton is expected to recover from his injuries, Deputy Delray Shelton said.

Authorities said Sutton and another man, Michael J. Fialho, 48, were arguing oustide Fialho’s home. It was not clear what sparked the dispute, they said, but at some point the two men began struggling over a loaded shotgun.

The gun discharged and struck Sutton, Shelton said.

Investigators said the shooting appears to have been accidental, but they arrested Fialho on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Fialho’s prior arrest record was not available Thursday.

Sheriff’s deputies seized the weapon and are holding it as evidence, investigators said.

Sutton initially sought help at Charleston Elementary School, which is about a mile from the scene of the shooting.

School officials contacted law enforcement and locked down the campus as a security precaution. None of the school’s 389 students were endangered, school officials said.

Fialho was in custody Thursday afternoon at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility in lieu of $150,000 bail.

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