Man arrested after opening fire outside Merced nightclub

A Merced man was jailed early Friday on suspicion of firing several shots into the air and threatening people during a drunken argument outside a nightclub, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Javin M. Johnson, 24, fired four shots from a Colt .357-caliber revolver into the air in the parking lot of La Cascada nightclub, 2611 Santa Fe Drive, in Merced, a department news release said. Nobody was injured.

Deputies said Johnson got into a fight at the club just before 1:45 a.m. and retrieved a gun from his car. He then threatened to shoot club staff members and fired into the air, deputies said, and drove off in a gray 2011 Audi.

About five minutes later, California Highway Patrol officers spotted the Audi heading north on Highway 99 toward Atwater. Once backup units arrived, officers stopped the car on the Liberty Avenue off-ramp of Highway 99, just south of Livingston.

Deputies said Johnson was driving the car and had three passengers with him. Witnesses identified Johnson as the man who fired the shots, deputies said. The others in the car were released.

Investigators found a revolver inside the car’s glove box with four expended shell casings inside.

CHP officers said Johnson was driving under the influence of alcohol.

“The actions displayed by the suspect clearly proved that he was a danger to the public,” Capt. B.J. Jones said in the statement. “We are very appreciative that the CHP was able to find the suspect vehicle so quickly.”

He was booked at the Merced County jail on $250,000 bail on suspicion of assault with a firearm, negligent discharge of a firearm and making criminal threats, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor allegations of brandishing a weapon and DUI.

He was still in custody Friday afternoon, according to jail records.

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