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SWAT team searches Bradenton homes in connection to shooting

BRADENTON -- About 50 law enforcement officers searched three homes Wednesday morning in connection with a shooting that left one man injured, Bradenton police said.

A Bradenton SWAT team van and at least a dozen marked and unmarked patrol cars were parked outside the homes in the 400 block of Ninth Avenue East and 10th Avenue East as officials searched inside.

Bradenton police spokesman Capt. Warren Merriman said Manatee County Sheriff's Office gang unit officers were on scene because the shooting "could be gang-involved."

On March 25, 50-year-old Miguel Gutierrez got into an argument with another man in the 400 block of

10th Avenue East. The man pushed Gutierrez, who fired a revolver at him once, striking both his calves, a media release said.

As the injured man got into a car, 22-year-old Mario Mendoza fired several shots and struck the vehicle. No one inside was hurt, a release said.

Gutierrez, who police say confessed to the shooting, was arrested the same day for aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was booked into the Manatee County jail, but was released March 27 on bonds totaling $25,000.

Mendoza was arrested the following day on an attempted murder charge in the 400 block of 10th Avenue East. He is being held at the jail on $30,000 bond.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officials searched the homes for about two hours. Several streets were closed during the search, forcing motorists to find detours.

Merriman could not disclose what items were confiscated.

During the search, a man was arrested on an unrelated warrant at one of the homes. Enrique Machuca, Jr. 19, was arrested for driving with a suspended license.

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