An 18-year-old man walking alongside a road in Planada was shot twice in what the Merced County Sheriff’s Department believes is a gang ambush.
The 18-year-old is a validated gang member, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. He was shot at multiple times and at least two rounds struck him in the legs, MacKenzie said.
The victim was walking along Childs Avenue in Planada around 6 p.m. Wednesday when five Hispanic males in a dark blue Chevy extended cab pickup pulled up next to him and started firing.
After being shot the victim was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Merced by an unknown individual who left the hospital before law enforcement arrived.
The victim was transported to a Modesto hospital for treatment of his injuries and is expected to make a full recovery, MacKenzie said.
The Chevy pickup was located a short time later parked in an alley on 6th Street in Merced. The driver was able to flee from the Merced police officers, but a handgun was located inside the pickup. MacKenzie said the handgun is believed to be the one used in the shooting.