Delhi shooting victim remains hospitalized

A Delhi man shot earlier this week in a gunfight with marijuana thieves remained in critical condition Thursday at a regional hospital, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

Jose Rosales, 21, was shot multiple times around 5 a.m. Wednesday in the backyard of his home in the 10000 block of North Cortez Avenue in Delhi, deputies said.

Detectives said Rosales’ condition remained critical Thursday afternoon.

No arrests have been made.

Rosales apparently exchanged gunfire with people deputies believe were trying to steal 13 marijuana plants from Rosales’ backyard. Deputies said Rosales had seen people in recent days looking over his fence at the plants. He was camping in his garden to protect the plants when the shooting started, deputies said.

A neighbor reported hearing separate bursts of gunfire just after 5 a.m.

Detectives located several clipped marijuana plants in an orchard behind the residence, as well as numerous expended shell casings at the scene. Investigators also found a pistol believed to have been used by Rosales during the shootout.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Department at (209) 385-7444. Tips are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.