Stanislaus County sheriff's detectives are investigating the shooting of a man who was found dead Thursday night in front of a house in Modesto's airport neighborhood.
Authorities did not release the victim's name Friday because his family had not been notified, but Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said he was a 26-year-old Modestan.
Manuel Barajas said his 13-year-old son saw the man lying on the sidewalk in front of his neighbor's house in the 300 block of Santa Rita Avenue when he went outside about 8 p.m.
Barajas said he thought the man was drunk or on drugs, like so many of the people who frequent Mono Park across the street. So did the 76-year-old woman whose house the man died in front of. She didn't want to be identified, but said she's called an ambulance at least twice in the past for people who had overdosed at the park.
"I went over there and kind of shook him around and he wouldn't move," Barajas said. "I checked his pulse and he was dead."
Bejaran said the man had been shot. Neighbors said it looked like he had several bullet wounds in his torso.
Barajas and the 76-year-old woman said they didn't hear gunshots and there wasn't much blood near the man, so it seemed like he had been shot somewhere else, then walked to the sidewalk on Santa Rita, where he collapsed. Neither recognized the man.
Sheriff's homicide detectives worked through the night, looking for evidence in the area and interviewing potential witnesses.
Detectives were looking for Kraig Palacio, 20, who is considered a "person of interest" in the investigation. Sheriff's officials described Palacio as being 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.
Sheriff's officials ask anyone with information to call Detective Darwin Hatfield at (209) 525-7100 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers website, www.stancrimetips.org, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2366. Follow her on Twitter, @ModestoBeeCrime.