Authorities seek information after gunshot victim found in Atwater High parking lot

Merced County authorities are asking the public for help with information on a shooting that left a man injured in the parking lot of Atwater High School.

Merced County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to reports of shots being fired in the area of Fruitland Avenue and Vine Avenue at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, Deputy Daryl Allen said.

While en route, the deputies were contacted by the California Highway Patrol notifying them that CHP officers were with a gunshot victim less than a mile away in the parking lot of Atwater High, located at 2201 Fruitland Ave.

Deputies arrived to find a a male adult with a gunshot injury to the hand, Allen said. The victim was transported to a Modesto-area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Detectives were investigating the shooting and officials declined to release additional information on the victim, Allen said.

Investigators are looking for anyone who may have seen or heard the shooting, or anyone who has information on a suspect, to come forward and give information.

“It’s important for victims to come forward so we know what’s happening,” Allen said. “We need to know these things so we can investigate them.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Detectives Bureau at 209-385-7472.

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.