State

Merced teens gunned down

MERCED -- A shooting Friday night that left one teen dead and another wounded is under investigation by the Merced Police Department.

The shooting at Sunnyside Apartments on D Street happened about 11 p.m. Friday. A 17-year-old boy was killed, and a 16-year-old boy was flown by air ambulance to a hospital.

Although police have not released the boys' names, the teen who was killed has been identified by those who knew him as Deangelo Smith, a junior on the Golden Valley High School wrestling team.

No suspects are in custody.

According to Lt. Bimley West, witnesses reported hearing four or five gunshots. When officers arrived, they found two victims lying on the ground with gunshot wounds.

Both teens were alive when the officers arrived, West said. The 17-year-old later was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, he said.

Both victims were Merced residents.

West said one of the victims was sitting on a playground bench, and the other was walking to a residence when the shots were fired. He said the victims were friends.

Shooters were on foot

According to police, the teens were shot by one or more people who were on foot. The shooters left either on foot or in a vehicle, West said.

Smith's wrestling coach and teacher, Chopper Mello, said Smith was an outstanding kid.

"He was a hard worker, very quiet, very respectful," Mello said. "We're not doing really well right now. The whole team is shocked."

Mello said a carwash was held Sunday to help Smith's family, and the team is going to do some other things to raise money for the family.

"I was his anatomy teacher and his coach," Mello said. "He worked really hard for me. He was one of our returning varsity wrestlers. He was the kind of kid you want to have around. He's going to be missed."

The shooting is not believed to be connected to a shooting reported earlier the same night at K and Main streets, West said. That shooting, during the second annual Cap 'n' Town event, wounded a 22-year-old man.

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