An Atwater man was shot and killed late Sunday, the Police Department reported.
No arrests have been made.
Matthew Tucker, 22, was pronounced dead late Sunday after he was found shot in the chest at a city park on Atwater Boulevard, Lt. Samuel Joseph said.
Police responded just before 8 p.m. Sunday to the park in the 2300 block of Atwater Boulevard. Tucker was rushed to Mercy Medical Center in Merced where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Officers believe the attack may have occurred in the 2000 block of Olive Avenue.
Joseph declined to elaborate on any potential evidence collected or say anything about potential suspect information or descriptions, saying releasing that information could harm the investigation.
Officers believe the incident may be gang-related and described Tucker as a “known gang member with a long history with police.”
Sunday’s violence marked the first homicide in Atwater since 2013. Homicides in Atwater have been few since 2010, when five were reported. The city reported zero homicides in 2011, two in 2012, and one in 2013.
Atwater reported zero homicides last year, which authorities have said was the bloodiest year in Merced County’s history with 32 violent deaths.
The death in Atwater on Sunday brings the total number of homicides this year in Merced County to 11, the Merced County Coroner’s Office confirmed.
Anyone with information is asked to call Atwater police detectives at (209) 357-6394. Tips are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.