Man shot after fight breaks out at Salida bar

SALIDA — One man was seriously injured early Saturday after a fight broke out at a bar and another man fired a handgun, hitting the victim in the chest, Stanislaus County sheriff’s officials said.

The victim underwent surgery at a Modesto-area hospital and was expected to survive his injuries, said sheriff’s Sgt. Michael McEntire.

Sheriff’s officials did not release the victim’s name to ensure his safety, and his age was not available.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jose Juan Lopez, 35, on suspicion of attempted murder. He was being held at the Stanislaus County Jail Saturday afternoon, and his bail was set at $500,000.

The shooting occurred about 12:45 a.m. at the Salida Club in the 4900 block of Elm Street, west of Highway 99 and just south of Kiernan Avenue.

A fight broke out between about five people inside the bar. It was unclear to sheriff’s officials what started the fight.

McEntire said the fight spilled outside of the business, and Lopez pulled out .25 caliber handgun. He said Lopez threatened to kill the people he was fighting with before he fired the gun.

Deputies, who were nearby, received a report of shots fired and an injured gunshot victim at the bar. McEntire said the deputies responded quickly and found Lopez still at the bar when they arrived.

He said Lopez ran to his vehicle and tried to hide the gun, tossing it in the front seat. The deputies took Lopez into custody without further incident.

The victim had already been driven to the hospital by friends by the time the deputies arrived at the bar. No other injuries were reported.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394.

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