Two shot in Winton, suspect in custody

05/25/2014 1:00 PM

05/25/2014 10:00 PM

A long-standing family argument ended Sunday at a home on Cobble Drive when two people suffered gunshot wounds, according to witnesses and authorities.

Two women, believed to be a 56-year-old mother and her 20-year-old daughter, were shot, a witness said.

One of the victims was taken by helicopter to an area hospital, and the other was transported by ambulance, Merced County sheriff’s Deputy Delray Shelton said.

A witness said the older woman was shot “in the ear,” but appeared to be conscious when authorities arrived.

Shelton described injuries to both women as “serious,” but said both are expected to survive.

Their names are being withheld by the Merced Sun-Star.

The suspect, James Robert Miller, a 72-year-old man in a wheelchair, has been arrested, Shelton confirmed.

Deputies responded about 11 a.m. to a report of shots fired in the 6600 block of Cobble Drive in Winton. Authorities found two victims outside the home. The armed suspect was still inside when deputies arrived, authorities said.

Patricia Grissom, a woman who lives in the home with the suspect and the 56-year-old woman, said the violence was sparked during a lengthy argument that started about 3 a.m. Sunday. The woman said the suspect and the youngest victim “do not get along at all.”

“I heard her say, ‘What are you going to do, shoot me?’ ” and then she was shot, Grissom said.

The 56-year-old woman and she are sisters, Grissom said.

Grissom said the 20-year-old victim came to the house about 3 a.m., but Miller refused to let her inside and arguing ensured.

At one point, Grissom said, she was told the 20-year-old was planning to leave the home, but that “apparently never happened.”

Grissom was inside her bedroom at the home when she heard multiple shots fired.

Deputies and California Highway Patrol officers blocked off Cobble Drive at Peridot Avenue and surrounded the home for about 30 minutes before contacting the suspect.

At least one neighborhood home was evacuated during the standoff. A CHP officer ripped down a portion of a backyard wooden fence near the blocked off intersection to allow a woman, a man and three small children to evacuate.

The suspect was taken into custody without further incident, Shelton said.

A firearm believed to have been used in the shooting has been recovered, authorities said.

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