ATWATER — Two people were wounded in two separate but possibly related shooting incidents a few minutes apart in a residential neighborhood late Sunday afternoon, police reported.
Both victims were being treated at an area hospital. One of them was transported by unknown means to the hospital. The other was taken by emergency crews.
The extent of the injuries wasn’t immediately know. However, police said that one of the victims was in serious condition while the other was being treated for what appeared to be injuries not considered life-threatening.
Atwater police Sgt. Sammy Joseph said officers received a report of a shooting in the 2900 block of Secretariat Drive about 4:15 p.m.
Shortly after officers arrived at that scene, he said, they got a call of a second shooting in the 2800 block of Determine Drive, about a block west of the first one.
Joseph said the two shootings appear to be related and could be linked to gangs, but he cautioned that the investigation is in the early stages and nothing definitive has been determined.
Detectives were still on the scene gather evidence and interviewing witnesses Sunday night.
Atwater police called for backup from the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, Merced Gang Task Force and the California Highway Patrol to help disperse a large crowd that was gathering in the area of the shootings, Joseph said.
No other injuries and no arrests were reported.