Man, 76, shoots gun in residential Merced neighborhood

A man who shot a handgun in a residential neighborhood Wednesday night was taken into custody by Merced police.

Officers were sent to the 300 block of West Alexander Avenue just before 7 p.m. Wednesday after reports of a gunshot in the neighborhood. When they arrived, police found a 76-year-old man had shot a bullet into the ground because he was intoxicated and depressed, according to a press release.

Officers evacuated neighbors and traffic was diverted in case he fired the weapon again.

The small-caliber handgun was taken by officers, and the suspect, whose identity isn't being released by the police department, was taken into custody. He was reviewed and cleared by Mercy Medical Center and counseled at Merced County Mental Health.

Police will forward a report to the Merced County District Attoryney's Office to determine if the man will face charges for firing a gun within city limits.