Los Banos

October 30, 2013

One shot outside Los Banos

One person was shot early Wednesday outside Los Banos and a nearby elementary school was locked down briefly as a security precaution. The victim’s identity was not available, but was described by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department as a man in his late 40s or early 50s. “The motive for the shooting is under investigation and still unknown at this time,” Deputy Delray Shelton said.

A shooting early Wednesday near Charleston Elementary led to the lockdown of the school, authorities said.

“School staff followed the plan, which is to contact police and lock down the school,” said Steve Tietjen, Los Banos Unified School District superintendent. Authorities stressed that none of the school’s 389 students were in danger.

The victim has been identified as Roger Elliot Sutton, 64, of Los Banos.

Sutton and a female minor were on the 20000 block of Jersey Road some time between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and exchanged words with a man authorities have identified as Michael Joseph Fialho, 48, and a woman outside Fiahlo’s residence, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.

At some point, multiple shots were fired and the victim was struck, Deputy Delray Shelton said. No other injuries were reported.

Sutton was taken to nearby Charleston Elementary to call for help. School officials contacted law enforcement.

Sutton was taken by helicopter to a Modesto hospital for surgery. Shelton said Sutton remains in the hospital, but is expected to recover.

Fiahlo told the Sheriff’s Department he shot Sutton accidentally, Shelton said. The Sheriff’s department believes the shooting was unintentional, Shelton said.

Fiahlo was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition. He is being held at the John Latorraca Correctional Center in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Security measures at Charleston Elementary were lifted around 9:45 a.m.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Department at (209) 385-7444.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 826-3831 ext. 6563.

Merced Sun-Star reporter Rob Parsons contributed to this article.

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