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1 dead, 3 injured in shooting near Merced City Hall in California’s Central Valley

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Three people, including two 16-year-olds, were arrested Saturday in connection with a gunfight that killed one man and injured three other people, the Merced, California police said.

The deceased was identified as Elyas Jerry Aguilar, 18, according to Merced police. The injured victims were taken to trauma centers; their terms were not available.

The shooting was reported at 3:12 a.m. in a downtown parking garage across the street from Merced City Hall and a few blocks from police headquarters, police said in a statement.

A fight broke out, a 16-year-old opened fire on a vehicle with people in it, and “a gunfight” ensued, the department said. That teen is also counted as one of the injured; he was hit by backfire, police said.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle and gang charges, the department said. The suspect has not been identified because he is a minor.

Arriving officers were confronted with a scene described as “chaotic” by the Merced department. “There were numerous people who fled on foot and in vehicles, some of them armed,” the statement said.

A second 16-year-old was arrested after officers claimed he ran from the scene with the gun involved in the fatal accident, Merced police said. He was booked on gun and gang charges, it said.

Also arrested was Marcos Montoya, 25, of Merced, on charges of negligent discharge of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place and possession of an unregistered firearm, police said.

The region was rocked Monday by separate news of the armed kidnapping and murder of four family members, including an 8-month-old.

The bodies of baby Aroohi Dheri; her parents Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36; and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, were discovered Wednesday evening in an almond orchard, police said.

On Tuesday, authorities arrested 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado, who may have worked for the family in the past, in connection with the crimes. His brother, 41-year-old Alberto Salgado, was arrested Thursday for allegedly helping his sibling.

It was not clear whether the siblings had legal representation. The local prosecutor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The kidnapping took place in an unincorporated area of ​​Merced County, which has a population of about 286,000, according to the US Census Bureau.

The nearby town of Merced, where shots were fired on Saturday, is in the agricultural Central Valley, about 130 miles east of San Francisco.


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