Two Merced men are dead and another injured in what appeared to be a gang-related shooting Thursday night, police Lt. Bimley West reported.
The shooting happened about 6:20 p.m. when an unidentified gunman began shooting at three men in the front yard of a home near 12th and S streets in south Merced.
One of the victims, described as a Latino man in his late 20s, was dead when police arrived.
The second victim died while being transported to a medical helicopter. The second victim is also described as a Latino man in his late 20s.
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The third victim, a Latino man in his late 50s, was taken to a Merced hospital. He was shot in the upper arm and is expected to survive.
West said the shooter walked from the 1100 block of West 12th Street and opened fire on the three men in front of the home.
After the gunfire, the shooter ran eastbound through an alley and got into a dark-colored vehicle, West said.
The weapon has not been recovered.
Merced police detectives remained at the scene Thursday night, looking for additional witnesses and gathering evidence.
Although the motive for the shooting is unknown, the incident appeared to be gang-related, West said.
The victims' identities are being withheld because of the ongoing investigation, he said.
Thursday's double homicide marks the fourth reported homicide in the city of Merced this year.
Police ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Anonymous tips can be sent via text message to "TIP411" (847411). Include the word "Comvip" as the message's keyword.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.