A Delhi father is accused of shooting and killing his adult son after the two argued about repairs to a broken chainsaw, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Daniel McDonald, 66, has been booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder for the death of his 46-year-old son, Donald McDonald. He is being held without bail.
The fatal shooting was reported around 8 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 11000 block of Griffith Avenue in Delhi that the two men had shared off and on for several years, according to the sheriff’s department.
The impetus for the killing was a busted chainsaw, said Sheriff Mark Pazin.
“Evidently Donald McDonald, the victim, did not want to or couldn’t fix a chainsaw,” Pazin said.
Donald McDonald was employed as a mechanic.
The seemingly innocuous disagreement rose to the level of a heated argument and then exploded into violence when Daniel McDonald allegedly picked up a rifle and shot his son once, killing him in the spot, according to investigators.
The sheriff’s department was summoned and investigators found Daniel McDonald still clutching the suspected murder weapon.
“It’s almost a classic smoking gun type of investigation,” Pazin said in describing how investigators found the suspect holding the rifle with smoke whispering from the barrel.
Daniel McDonald was questioned for a short time before he was taken into custody.
Pazin said there were several witnesses investigators were interviewing.
“There were a number of folks gathered there that either heard or saw the shooting,” Pazin said.
One witness was the wife of the victim, who was so distraught that she had to be taken to Emanuel Medical Center for treatment, Pazin said.
There was alcohol at the gathering and investigators are looking into whether it played a factor in the shooting.
Daniel McDonald is scheduled for an arraignment in Merced County Superior Court today.
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