A 52-year-man died late Thursday after he was shot in the 1300 block of West 12th Street in Merced, the Police Department confirmed to the Sun-Star.
The incident was reported around 10:30 p.m. Police responded to the scene after receiving calls of shots fired and found the victim collapsed on the sidewalk, suffering from gunshot wounds.
Paramedics attended to the victim, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
During the subsequent investigation, the Merced SWAT Team was called to a nearby apartment complex and detained several people, although no one was arrested as a suspect.
The victim’s name has not been released. No suspect descriptions were available.
Sgt. Robert Solis told the Sun-Star that investigators do not believe the incident was gang related.
More information will be reported as it becomes available.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merced police detectives at (209) 385-4702. Tips are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.
The violent death marks the third consecutive year Merced County has reported a homicide on New Year's Day. Firearms have been the murder weapon in all three New Year’s homicides, according to Sun-Star archives.
Marcus Fisher, 21, was gunned down Jan. 1, 2014 after gang-related violence erupted at a New Year’s Eve party on Derby Drive in Merced. No arrests have been made.
The case has frustrated police and the victim’s family as a lack of cooperation from witnesses and Fisher’s friends has stalled the investigation.
J.D. Reed, 67, was shot and killed Jan. 1, 2013 by his son, Jason C. Reed. The victim was found on his bed at home in the 9000 block of Sycamore Street in Delhi.
Jason Reed, 37, pleaded no contest in August 2014 to a lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to 21 years in state prison. Merced County prosecutors agreed to the reduced charged, at least in part, as a result of Reed’s time in a state-run psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors said Reed’s “motive and mental condition appear to have been intertwined,” according to Sun-Star archives.
Merced County reported an all-time record number of homicides in 2014 with a total of 32, breaking previous the previous record of 28 set in 2010 and again in 2013, according to Sun-Star archives.
Merced County has seen a total of 61 homicides since New Year’s Day 2013, according to Sun-Star archives.
Merced been named one of California’s most violent communities per capita in several real estate and public safety studies over the last two years, placing just below larger cities like Oakland, Stockton and Modesto.