Winton shooting sends two to hospital

WINTON -- A fight in Winton on Thursday evening escalated into a shooting, sending two people to area hospitals.

The incident started just after 8:30 p.m. when a 14-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man were sitting in front of an apartment complex in the 6900 block of Cottage Street, according to Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Tom MacKenzie.

A white Honda pulled up to the complex and four Asian males got out of the car and started yelling gang slurs and starting fighting with the two.

During the fight, the driver of a stalled truck close to the fight went to a nearby house to get help with his truck. Hearing the fight, the mother of the 14-year-old came out of her house. The Honda left the area, and the truck's driver went to the two to ask for their help in moving the truck.

The Honda returned to the area, and shots were fired from a gun of unknown caliber. The 44-year-old was hit in the upper left leg and was taken by air ambulance to Modesto; the truck's driver was struck in the right foot and refused medical aid; and the 14-year-old's mother was struck in the right leg and was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center for treatment.

MacKenzie said all the victims are expected to recover from their injuries. None of the victims have any indication of being involved in gangs. However, the suspects are believed to be gang members. The motive for the attack is still under investigation.

Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or creiter@mercedsun-star.com.