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Mystery: Why was teenager shot in front of his home?

No reasons are evident why a 17-year-old boy was shot in the stomach Monday night while standing in front of his home in the 2300 block of Shoemaker Avenue in Merced.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie, Merced County Sheriff's Department spokesman, said so far there are no reasons why the boy would be the target of an attack.

According to detectives, the victim, whose identity is being withheld, does not claim any gang affiliations, did not provoke the attack and said there was no warning.

MacKenzie said the teenager was shot once in the stomach at 8:30 p.m. with a high-powered handgun.

The bullet went in one side of his stomach and out the other side before lodging in a car door. He was standing in front of his residence talking with relatives when he was shot.

The victim was taken to the Community Campus of Mercy Medical Center Merced for treatment. He has been released from the hospital and is home.

No vital organs were struck by the bullet and he is expected to make a full recovery, MacKenzie said.

The shooter is described only as a short male dressed in dark clothing and wearing a mask.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the sheriff's department Major Crimes Unit at (209) 385-7472.

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