A Merced homeowner and a 15-year-old boy exchanged gunfire Wednesday morning after the teen woke the owner while burglarizing the home, Merced police reported.
The homeowner woke about 10:30 a.m. to noises inside the house and grabbed his gun to investigate, Merced police Lt. Chris Goodwin said in a news release. When the owner walked out of his bedroom, he saw the teen carrying items from the home.
The homeowner ordered the teen to the ground, but instead the teen dropped the items and pulled out a gun. The homeowner and teen exchanged gunfire before the teen ran out the front door, triggering the home’s alarm system, police said.
A short while later, police received a call from the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center, saying a teen was dropped off with a gunshot wound, Goodwin said. When officers went to the hospital, they found the teen was the same one from the burglary on Kingfisher Court, Goodwin said.
The suspect was taken to a hospital out of the area and is expected to survive his injuries.
Police believe at least one more suspect was involved in the burglary, officers said, but no description was available Wednesday.
Robert Tyler, who lives in the neighborhood, said the incident was not the first to be reported. “There was another home intrusion about six weeks ago while the occupant was home on Redwing Drive,” he said.
Tyler said there also has been a string of burglaries in the area in the last month, including at least three at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church storage container.
Though the incident happened a block from Cruickshank Middle School, a school official said the school was not placed on lockdown. It’s unclear whether the school had time to go on lockdown before the violence ended. The cul de sac still was blocked off by crime tape when students walked home from school in the afternoon.
The investigation into the Wednesday incident is ongoing. Police still are searching for the other suspect.