A Merced man shot his estranged wife Monday afternoon and then turned the gun on himself, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Steve Mackey, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene inside his home at 2844 Village Drive in the Beachwood area in northwest Merced, outside the city limit. Nancy Mackey, also 55, was shot multiple times and hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
Sheriff Mark Pazin said detectives believe Nancy Mackey was shot as many as three times.
An update on Nancy Mackey’s condition was not available Monday evening.
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Pazin called the shooting an “apparent suicide.”
Teary-eyed family members gathered in small groups outside the taped-off home. Neighbors in the quiet, Christmas-decorated residential neighborhood declined to comment.
The Sheriff’s Department received a series of 911 calls and reports of multiple shots fired about 1 p.m.
“There was some type of verbal altercation and he (Mackey) pulled a handgun and multiple shots were fired,” Pazin said.
The pair’s adult daughter tried to intervene in the argument before the shooting started. She was not injured, the sheriff said.
It was not clear what they were arguing about. “Unfortunately, it is that time of the season and there are lots of emotions and passion associated with this time of the year,” Pazin said, “and it probably doesn’t take much to get those emotions going.”
Deputies said Nancy Mackey was no longer living with Steve Mackey. It was not clear why Nancy Mackey and her daughter went to the home Monday.
“We’re trying to piece all that together,” Pazin said.
The sheriff said a firearm was recovered at the scene, but declined to release any further details about the weapon. Pazin also declined to say where Steve Mackey was shot.
Monday’s double shooting was the second incident involving gunfire in Merced County in less than 24 hours. A 25-year-old Atwater man was shot Sunday night on Winton Way. He is expected to survive, police said.
It was also the second fatal shooting in Merced County in the past week. A 16-year-old gang member from Planada was shot and killed Dec. 9 on Bigler Avenue, near the same spot where another man was gunned down Nov. 21.