Crime

Two Merced police officers opened fire on a man they said pointed a gun at them

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

The man shot by Merced officers this week remains hospitalized, recovering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso, according to Merced police.

Officers with the Gang Violence Suppression Unit approached a car near East Alexander Avenue and Marie Court about 12:20 a.m. on Saturday before 23-year-old Marcelo Salazar of Merced exited the passenger seat and pointed a gun at officers, according to Capt. Bimley West.

Two officers, whose names have not been released, fired at Salazar, striking him multiple times, police said. One of the officers conducting life-saving efforts, West said.

The driver, 19-year-old Victoria Shelton of Merced, had pulled into a driveway in an attempt to avoid the officers, West said.

“Our gang unit was conducting an investigation of an incident and it just so happened this vehicle was part of that investigation,” West said. “They knew the officers were behind them and they tried pulling up in a driveway to make it look like they were at their house.”

Salazar remains at a regional hospital with police guarding him until he recovers, West said. He could face charges of being a felon in possession of a handgun and brandishing the weapon, which includes gang enhancements.

“I know the family is concerned about their loved one,” West said. “We are too.”

He was convicted in 2016 of illegally carrying a loaded gun in a car and in 2017 of stealing a car, both felonies, according to court records.

Shelton was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license and allowing the firearm in the car, and also faces gang enhancements, West said. She was not in custody on Wednesday, according to jail records.

Two other males ran from the scene. Police said it wasn’t clear if they were teenagers or adults.

The two officers remain on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. One officer has been with Merced police for about eight years and the other for more than a decade, according to West.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call Sgt. Rey Alvarez at 209-388-7705.

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