Crime

A gunfight and a car chase part of a busy weekend for police in this Merced County town

File photo
File photo ezamora@fresnobee.com

Los Banos police are looking for answers in a pair of weekend shootings, including an apparent gunfight on Cardinal Street that later included a car chase.

No injuries were reported in either shooting, Los Banos police said in a news release.

Police said officers were on patrol around 8:50 p.m. Friday when they heard gunfire coming from the north side of the city near Cardinal Street. The officers drove in the direction of the gunfire when a gray Cadillac was seen moving the area at a high rate of speed, police said in the statement.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle when the driver fled, leading police in a vehicle pursuit. During the pursuit, officers said the occupants in the Cadillac began throwing firearms out of the car window.

Police terminated the pursuit when they received calls about a shooting in the 1400 block of Cardinal Street. A group of people in the area told police they’d been shot at by the occupants of the Cadillac.

Detectives believe a gunfight took place between a group at the Cardinal Street home and the occupants of the Cadillac. Investigators served a search warrant at the home and located an AR-15 rifle, high-capacity magazines and a .40-caliber Glock handgun.

Police said the guns that were thrown from the vehicle during the pursuit also were recovered but did not comment on the exact number of weapons seized in connection with the investigation.

Detectives believe about 20 rounds were fired during the gunfight and no injuries were reported, authorities said. It was not clear whether police suspected any gang ties in the apparent gun battle.

According to police, a second shooting was reported Sunday in the 500 block of Elmwood Court. Officers responded to the scene just after 11 p.m. and found evidence of a shooting.

Police said no one was injured in the shooting and at least 11 bullet impacts hit a home and a vehicle.

Anyone with information about the shootings is encouraged to call Detective-Sergeant Justin Melden at 209-827-2509 or Detective Sean Bayard at 209-827-2520. To leave an anonymous crime tip call 209-827-7070, ext. 288 or visit the department’s web page. At the bottom of the contact page click on the ‘report graffiti and other crime” link or contact the Merced Area Crime Stoppers at 1-855-725-2420 or on the Merced Area Crime Stoppers website.

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