Update: Suspect, car sought after off-duty Merced County deputy shot in Turlock

Authorities are looking for a man in his 40s and a gray car after a shooting outside a Turlock business left a Merced County Sheriff’s deputy in critical condition.

Turlock Police spokeswoman Deandra Wiley said police “received a call of a male that sustained at least one gunshot wound in the 100 block of South First Street” at 2:30 a.m. “Officers responded and provided medical aid until the victim could be transported to a local hospital.”

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke confirmed the victim is a Merced County Sheriff’s deputy and said he is expected to survive, but referred all other questions to Turlock Police, which is handling the investigation.

Investigators believe the suspect walked out of a business in the 100 block of South First Street and fired a weapon in the direction of the victim who was with three additional patrons outside, Turlock Police said in a news release issued Monday afternoon.

On Monday, the victim remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition, Wiley said.

The suspect drove away in a gray sedan or SUV, police said. He was described as Hispanic, about 40 years of age, 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall, approximately 200 pounds, wearing a blue polo shirt and blue jeans.

The deputy doesn’t appear to have been targeted, Warnke said.

Investigators believe there were multiple witnesses, and someone may have caught the incident on video.

They ask anyone with information on the case to contact Detective Frank Navarro at 209-664-7319 or Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers may be eligible for a cash reward.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.