The Merced County Sheriff's Department is looking for suspects who may have been involved in two shootings Friday and Saturday in Winton and south Atwater.
However, deputy Tom MacKenzie, Sheriff's Department spokesman, said officials didn't know if the same suspects were involved in both shootings. He said no one was in custody as of Sunday.
A 17-year-old Latino boy was believed to have been shot in the area of Walnut Avenue and Cottage Street in Winton on Friday night. The victim sustained gunshot wounds to both thighs, the sheriff's department reported.
Sgt. Kevin Blake and deputy Steve Bassi, who heard gunshots, responded to the area and found the victim. The wounded teen was flown to a Modesto-area hospital, where he is expected to recover, the sheriff's department said.
MacKenzie said the victim and witnesses at the scene weren't cooperating with the investigation.
"Investigators believe there is gang involvement," he said of the first shooting.
Investigators were able to determine that assailants in a four-door sedan parked in the area and approached the victim on foot. After firing several rounds from a large-caliber handgun, they left the area, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Later on Friday night, a 17-year-old Latino boy showed up at the Emanuel Hospital in Turlock with a bullet wound to his shin. MacKenzie said the victim was also shot in the same incident near Walnut and Cottage in Winton.
"The two victims were from one incident," he said.
On Saturday afternoon, deputies responded to an 18-year-old Latino gunshot victim at Rancho Del Rey Golf Course in Atwater. The victim had a gunshot wound to his left ankle.
Witnesses said a light blue, four-door sedan pulled up near the victim at Green Sands and Station avenues. They said two assailants got out and started firing at the victim. He is expected to recover, the Sheriff's Department said.
Anyone with more information about the shootings is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff's Department at (209) 385-7472.
Reporter Ameera Butt can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.