3-year-old boy injured in Atwater shooting

A 3-year-old Atwater boy suffered minor injuries late Thursday when someone opened fire into a vehicle he was riding in, police said.

The child was struck by glass from a window that shattered when multiple shots were fired about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2400 block of Springwood Drive in Atwater, Lt. Samuel Joseph told the Merced Sun-Star.

“He was struck in the eye by some of the glass,” Joseph said. “He was taken to the hospital and treated and released.”

The child is expected to be OK, police said.

Officers said the boy was with his mother, who was not injured. Police declined to release the names of the woman and her son for safety reasons.

Police believe the motive for the shooting may be gang-related. It’s unknown whether the woman and child were the intended targets.

One witness told police the gunman was seated on the window of a vehicle, leaning outside the vehicle, and shooting over the roof. A suspect description was not available Friday.

Officers said they do not believe the shooting Thursday was connected in to the shooting death about the same time Thursday in Merced of a 27-year-old resident.