Crime

Merced police say he fired a gun while driving drunk. Then drove back to the scene.

Sacramento Bee file

A Merced man was arrested after he fired shots in the air Wednesday from a car while driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Merced Police Department.

Police were called around 9:43 p.m. to investigate a report of gunshots in the 600 block of John Street, according to a news release.

A witness at the scene reported seeing a person shooting a gun in the air from a moving vehicle, the release states. Seven 9mm shell casings were found in the area. No one reported injuries and no structures were struck.

As officers continued investigating, the vehicle, a silver Infiniti G35 coupe, arrived at the scene before driving past the officers and continuing on South M Street at about 70 to 80 mph, the release states.

The officers tried to catch up to the Infiniti, but it was too far ahead, police said.

The car was later found abandoned in the 400 block of Seventh Street, police said. Witnesses told authorities a man and woman ran from the car south on Canal Street. The car was registered to 21-year-old Merced resident Bee Xiong, who lives near the scene of the shooting, according to police.

Officers went to the home and talked with Xiong, who appeared intoxicated and admitted to the shooting, the release states. The female occupant of the vehicle, identified as Xiong’s girlfriend, also was in the home and admitted to seeing Xiong shoot a gun while he was driving, police said.

A 9mm firearm that was registered to Xiong also was found in the home.

Xiong was arrested on suspicion of gross negligent discharge of a firearm, according to the release. After a chemical test found Xiong’s blood alcohol content was over twice the legal limit, he also was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said.

Anyone with information on this is being asked to call Merced Police Officer Christian Lupian at 209-388-7844. Anonymous text messages also can be sent to the police department by texting to the number 847411, or “TIP411” and including the word “Comvip” as the keyword in the message.

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