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Three arrested, including two juveniles, for allegedly discharging a gun in Merced

Three people, including two juveniles, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of discharging a gun, the Merced County Sheriff's Department reported.

Just after midnight, deputies received a shots fired call from the 2000 block of Lobo Avenue in Merced. Witnesses heard the shots, ran outside and saw a dark-colored, lowered truck heading west on Lobo Avenue, according to deputy Tom MacKenzie.

As deputy Javier Garcia was taking the report, deputy Jason Jacklitsch saw a vehicle matching the truck's description at Canal and 16th streets in Merced. Along with Merced police, deputies brought the occupants out of the truck at gunpoint.

A witness told a deputy he got into his vehicle and followed the truck. He said there were two men in the truck bed and two in the cab. When the truck came to an abrupt stop at Beachwood Road and Dan Ward Avenue, the witness said one of the men in the truck bed pointed a handgun at him. The witness said he became afraid for his safety and rammed the truck. The truck took off, but the witness didn't follow, according to MacKenzie.

When Jacklitsch stopped the truck, there were three men, and the gun couldn't be located. The witness positively identified the three men, including a 17-year-old boy as the one who pointed the firearm at him. The truck had paint on it from the witness's vehicle.

The other passenger in the bed of the truck was a 14-year-old boy. The driver, Adolfo Ramirez, 34, was arrested and booked on charges of negligent discharge of a firearm, driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence. He remains jailed on $12,000 bail.

The two juveniles were booked at Juvenile Hall on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm. Brandishing a firearm was added to the 17-year-old's charges. Both are held without bail.

Investigators believe the incident may be gang related.

-- Sun-Star Staff— Sun-Star Staff