A Quinceanera party came to a tragic end Sunday when a 19-year-old man was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Cressey.
The victim was identified as Oscar Sanchez of Winton by the Merced County Coroner’s Office.
The sheriff’s department said the shooting is likely gang-related because Sanchez had identified himself as a member of a criminal street gang during a prior arrest. The shooter is believed to be from a rival gang, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
No suspect information has been released by the sheriff’s department.
Sanchez had been a guest at a Quinceanera party held in the 8100 block of Cressey Way in Cressey.
Around 1 a.m. Sunday a group of uninvited people, believed to be a rival gang, showed up at the party and were told to leave. A verbal argument between the two groups escalated to the point where someone pulled out a gun and started firing at the partygoers, MacKenzie said.
Sanchez was struck three times. He was wounded in the stomach, chest, and leg and was flown to a Modesto hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital hours later.
Sunday’s shooting marks the eighth homicide in Merced County for the year.
Cressey is located just south of Ballico.
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