A man was hospitalized Wednesday after being shot near Canal and West 12th streets, Merced police reported.
Details about the shooting remain elusive, although investigators believe the crime is gang-related, according to Lt. Andre Matthews, police spokesman. The extent of the man's injuries was unknown at press time.
Witnesses said the shooting happened around 2:45 p.m. in the 400 block of West 12th Street, not far from McNamara Park, after two groups of people exchanged words. After being shot, the victim walked to the 500 block of West 11th Street, where he collapsed. The victim, who was identified only as a man who appeared to be in his 20s, was taken to a local hospital, Matthews said.
With guns drawn, dozens of police officers, sheriff's deputies and agents with the county's Multi-Agency Gang Task Force swarmed the area, blocking off Canal Street between 11th and 12th streets.
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Officers were posted outside a residence in the 400 block of West 11th Street, across the street from the police department's south substation. About seven people were detained at the residence, according to Lt. Tom Trindad.
Police said it was unknown at press time whether one of the detained individuals was the shooter.
Not everyone left the home when police arrived, however. One man remained inside the house for several minutes with a 6-year-old boy, even though officers ordered him several times over a loudspeaker to exit with the child.
Holding the boy's hand, the man eventually walked through the front door of the home and was arrested at gunpoint by officers. The 6-year-old boy and a small girl were taken from the scene.
The police department's SWAT Team arrived at the home around 5 p.m. to search for other suspects.
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Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.