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South Merced shooting leaves one man dead

A 28-year-old man is dead after being shot while driving through a South Merced neighborhood, police reported.

Merced police say Jorge Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene after someone fired at his car in the 200 block of West 12th Street. Police are releasing few details in the case, and it hasn't been determined whether the shooting was random.

No one has been taken into custody, nor is a suspect description available.

Police responded to the scene around 10 p.m. Sunday after receiving a 911 call. Investigators said Chavez was driving a 1984 Buick Regal on 12th Street when he was shot. His vehicle struck a parked car after he was shot, police said. No other injuries were reported, but a nearby apartment building was hit by gunfire.

Sgt. Scott Skinner said police don't believe the victim was gang-affiliated.

Chavez's death is the 11th homicide reported this year in Merced County.

Police are asking witnesses or anyone with information about the shooting to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4725 or the department's automated tip-line at (209) 385-4725. Calls are kept confidential, and you can remain anonymous.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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