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Update: Man expected to recover after shooting near Castle

Merced County Sheriff’s investigators say they have few clues and no arrests in the early morning shooting of a 29-year-old Asian male driver near Castle Airport on Tuesday.

Merced County Sheriff’s spokesman Tom MacKenzie said the shooting happened at 3:18 a.m. near Gate No. 2 of the airport on Santa Fe Avenue.

The incident occurred after the victim, who was driving to Atwater, encountered another vehicle which pulled up next to his 2002 Honda Civic.

MacKenzie said someone inside the other car then fired several rounds from a semi-automatic handgun at the victim. “The vehicle was stuck several times,” MacKenzie said. “(The victim) was struck once. The bullet hit the door, went through the door and into him,” MacKenzie said.

The bullet broke one of the victim’s ribs on the left side of his body and also created a puncture wound. The victim’s wounds are not believed to be life-threatening, MacKenzie said.

The shooter fled the scene while the victim pulled over to the side of the road and called for help, MacKenzie said. The victim was flown by helicopter to a Modesto area hospital.

Investigators are not releasing a description of the suspect’s vehicle, although three people are believed to have been inside. MacKenzie said investigators do not believe the shooting was random. “The victim is being uncooperative,” MacKenzie said.

Still, MacKenzie said the victim did say that he had never seen the shooter before and did not know why he was shot.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or