Man shot in head while attending party

A 22-year-old Merced man was shot in the head Saturday night near a North Merced apartment complex.

The man was airlifted to a Modesto hospital for treatment and the shooting could be gang-related, police said.

Lt. Roger McIntyre of the Merced Police Department said the man, who was not identified, was wounded at 8:39 p.m. in the 1600 block of Conestoga Drive. Officers Brian Bowen, Jamie Young and Samuel Sannadan were told by witnesses that a group of people were having a birthday party, and some were standing in the driveway of the apartment complex.

McIntyre said a small silver or gray compact vehicle drove by and an undetermined number of shots were fired into a crowd.

According to Riggs Ambulance Service personnel at the scene, the wound was life-threatening, but the extent of the injury was unknown.

Other officers searched the surrounding area but were unable to locate any suspects.

The motive for the shooting is unknown. Statements made at the scene indicate this incident could possibly be gang-related.

These statements are being investigated but have not been substantiated at this time, McIntyre said.

Detectives are continuing the investigation into this case. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the department's tip line at (209) 385-4725, or Detective Dave Alcaraz at (209) 385-4708.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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