Merced police have arrested a 16-year-old male suspect in the recent shooting of two UC Merced students near R and 16th Streets.
The arrest of the Valley High student happened Wednesday after the department's Gang Violence Suppression Unit served a search warrant in the 600 block of Cartmell Drive in South Merced, near Childs Avenue and M Street.
Police first spoke with the suspect the morning of the shooting on Aug. 24, in the parking lot of Victoria's restaurant in the 1000 block of West 16th Street, according to Sgt. Scott Skinner.
The teen, who at that time was believed to be a witness, provided version of events different than the story provided by victims, saying a vehicle was involved.
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During the course of the investigation, police obtained information from another witness and determined the 16-year-old male was indeed involved in the shooting. Under questioning from Detective Paul Johnson, the suspect admitted lying about the information he'd first provided to the officers on the morning of the shooting, but denied any involvement in the shooting.
The juvenile also claimed he didn't remember too much because he was drunk.
Skinner said detectives are trying to determine the identity of a second person involved in the shooting.
The morning of the shooting, the victims had just left a party around 4 a.m. in North Merced and were on their way to a fast-food restaurant. They slowed at a red light and saw two men standing in the road. The victims told police the men pulled out guns and started shooting at them without saying anything, according to Lt. Matt Williams.
Robert Justin Manaco, 23, and Ian Buczko, 19, suffered non-life- threatening gunshot wounds, police said. A third student, 21-year-old Arian Faurtosh, wasn't injured and called police.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Detective Paul Johnson at (209) 385-7742, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725.