Police have taken a teen into custody in connection with two shootings this month, one of which appears to be accidental.
On Sept. 14, Robert Hunt, 19, of Los Banos, was arrested at his residence on suspicion of attempted homicide, assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Police allege that Hunt is responsible for shootings on Sept. 4 and Sept. 11.
In the Sept. 4 incident, police said, a handgun was found at the scene and they were subsequently notified that a 26-year-old male had just arrived at Memorial Hospital, Los Banos with a gunshot wound to the chest. Detectives identified Hunt as the suspect in the shooting and learned the incident took place after a heated argument between a group of males, police said.
On Sept. 11, Los Banos police responded to the 200 Block of West I Street regarding a shooting.
As officers arrived, they were again contacted by Memorial Hospital, Los Banos officials. They said a 14-year-old male had come to the hospital suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Police believe the 14-year-old was shot accidentally while he and Hunt were handling a gun.
"We do know that the 14-year-old victim and Hunt are friends and we are trying to determine why they had a firearm. Although some of the parties involved have gang ties, we do not believe these incidents were a result of gang rivalries," Cmdr. Ray Reyna said.
The victims are in stable condition at a Modesto hospital and are expected to recover.
Hunt is in custody at Merced County Jail in lieu of $600,000 bail.
To leave an anonymous crime tip, call (209) 827-7070, ext. 288. If you have access to a computer and the Internet you can also leave an anonymous tip at the Los Banos Police Department webpage at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the "Contact" page simply click on the "report graffiti and other crime" link, or visit the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at (855) 725-2420, or at www.mercedarea crimestoppers.org.