MERCED -- A man suspected of shooting a man in the foot and ruining a 15-year-old girl's birthday party turned himself in Saturday.
Merced County sheriff's deputies arrested 21-year-old Hector David Chavez in connection with a March 22 shooting at the girl's quinceañera party near Stevinson.
Sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said Chavez decided to turn himself in after deputies executed a search warrant at his mother's home in Merced. Even though Chavez turned himself in, he has denied committing the crime, MacKenzie said.
Chavez is accused of shooting an unidentified 20-year-old man in the foot at the party. The victim sustained minor injuries and was released shortly after, MacKenzie said.
Although investigators say witnesses haven't been cooperative, they say Chavez previously had been in an argument with someone at the party. MacKenzie said Chavez left the party with another individual and returned with a .30-caliber rifle.
MacKenzie said Chavez fired several rounds at unoccupied parked cars, then shot the victim in the foot. As many as 100 people were at the party when the shooting took place, MacKenzie said, although many had left by the time investigators arrived.
It's unclear whether Chavez and the victim knew each other, MacKenzie said.
Chavez was booked into the Merced County Main Jail for assault with a deadly weapon and firing a rifle in a negligent manner. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call sheriff's Detective Lane Clark at 385-7472, ext. 4981.