Latest News

Deputies searching for two shooting suspects

LE GRAND -- Merced County Sheriff's Department deputies need the public's help in locating two criminal street gang members who launched an unprovoked shooting attack on a Planada woman and three children riding in her car.

Deputy Paul Barile, department spokesman, said Lisa Ortegon, 32, of Planada was shot twice in the chest and arm in the Friday night attack in the 3300 block of Washington Avenue. She was treated at a Modesto hospital and has since returned home.

Barile said Ortegon had a 15-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter and 15-year-old nephew riding in her Lincoln Town Car when two Hispanic males wearing hooded sweatshirts shot four to five rounds into the car about 11 p.m. Ortegon had slowed for a speed bump in the street in the residential area when the gang members walked up.

The shooting was totally random and unprovoked. The victims have no gang ties. The shooters are 16 to 25 years of age and are believed to be Le Grand criminal street gang members, according to Barile. One was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and the other had a white and black plaid flannel shirt worn over his sweatshirt.

Those with information about the shooting are asked to call Detective Alex Barba at 209-385-7445.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or