Clues pursued in Riverbank slaying

bclark@modbee.comNovember 25, 2012 

— Detectives on Sunday were looking for a person believed to have shot and killed an 18-year-old Modesto man at a party south of Riverbank, authorities said.

Damien King died after he was shot about 11:30 p.m. Saturday at a big house party in the 4700 block of Terminal Avenue, just south of Claribel Road.

Sgt. Anthony Bejaran of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department said deputies were called to the home, which sits between Claribel and Plainview Road, after receiving a 911 call reporting shots fired.

When they arrived, they found King had been shot. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There were more than 100 people at the ranch-style property, which sits across the street from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks. Many of the people who were at the party left before deputies arrived, Bejaran said.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Department and officers with the Modesto Police Department and the California Highway Patrol swarmed the area searching for the shooter, Bejaran said.

They searched in orchards near the house and set up a perimeter. Several people were detained, but as of Sunday evening, nobody was in custody or remained detained, Bejaran said.

Nobody else was injured, he said.

Bejaran said Sunday night that detectives had no information about the shooter. Law enforcement did not release any particulars about the incident, including how many times King had been shot, where on the property he was found or what led to the shooting.

About 30 minutes after the shooting, Modesto police searched neighborhoods east of Rose Avenue School after a report of a rollover accident that may have involved a vehicle that was seen at the party.

The house-to-house search lasted into the early morning and was conducted on Landini Way and streets near there just west of Oakdale Road.

Initial reports and scanner traffic sounded as if police were searching for a possible shooter tied to the Riverbank homicide.

Sgt. Felix Roman of the Modesto Police Department said early Sunday that one of the people in the neighborhoods search had been at the Riverbank party but was interviewed and found to have nothing to do with the shooting.

He said the rollover occurred while the driver was spinning doughnuts.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about this investigation to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at www.modestopolice.com/crimestoppers, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward.

Brian Clark, senior editor for digital, can be reached at 209-578-2362. Email him at bclark@modbee.com



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