A man shot and killed Thursday in Merced has been identified as 23-year-old Joshua Goodman.
The Merced man’s identity was confirmed Friday by the Merced County Coroner’s Office after his family was notified.
No arrests have been made, and no descriptions of a suspect or suspects have been released.
Police said Goodman was shot at least once about 3:20 p.m. Thursday at Coffee Street and Childs Avenue after he apparently confronted the occupants of another car in what police have described as a possible road rage incident. It remained unclear Friday how many shots were fired.
After the shooting, a friend drove Goodman to a parking lot in the 1900 block of Yosemite Park Way, where they met paramedics. Goodman was transported to an area hospital, where he died a short time later.
It remains unclear exactly what transpired before the shooting, but Lt. Chris Goodwin said Friday investigators believe the violence was sparked by some type of traffic-related incident in the area of Highway 99 and Childs Avenue.
“They’ve been following up several leads; they worked through the night,” Goodwin said.
Police have not ruled out possible gang connections in the case. Investigators do not believe the victim knew the shooter..
Goodwin said the incident was a reminder to drivers about the potential danger of disputes between motorists.
“In general, people should always try to avoid a confrontation; try not to put yourself in that position,” Goodwin said. “This incident is the worst-case scenario for these types of disputes.”
Goodwin said knee-jerk anger or frustration on the road can have tragic consequences when drivers confront people they don’t know.
Police advise anyone who realizes he or she is being followed or harassed on the road to call 911 on a cellphone or do whatever possible to safely notify law enforcement.
“If it does happen, don’t react back at the other person,” Goodwin said. “Above all, don’t pull over to confront someone. You don’t know who that person is or what could happen.”
Merced police ask anyone with information about Thursday’s shooting to contact Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-6913 or (209) 385-4702, or call tipline at (209) 385-4725. People can send information via anonymous text messages to the department by dialing TIP411 (847411) and including “Comvip” as the keyword.