October 14, 2012

Shooting reported in downtown Merced parking lot

One man was arrested after shots rang out early Sunday in a downtown Merced parking lot off West 16th Street, police said.

No injuries were reported during the incident, which happened in the downtown business district. Details are sketchy, but Merced police believe the shooting happened after an altercation between two groups of men, according to Lt. Tom Trindad.

Trindad said neither group involved in the altercation would cooperate with police, and it's unknown what sparked the disagreement.

The initial altercation happened at 12:13 a.m. in the 400 block of West Main Street, police say. About 15 minutes later, the two groups met again in the parking lot in the 400 block of West 16th Street. During the incident, police believe Isaiah Serena, 28, pulled out a gun and started shooting.

Officers responded at 12:39 a.m. and searched for suspects.

Police believe Serena placed the gun inside a parked vehicle and fled the area. Members of the department's Gang Violence Suppression Unit located Serena near 20th and K streets, Trindad said.

Officers recovered the firearm used in the shooting, Trindad said, and witnesses identified Serena as the gunman.

Serena was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault with a firearm, but was released after posting bail Sunday.

Police are asking witnesses or anyone with information about the crime to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702 or the department's automated tipline at (209) 385-4725. Text messages can be sent to the department by dialing 'TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the keyword in the message.

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