Oakdale police identify shooting suspects

local@modbee.comJanuary 30, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    Erin Tracy
    Title: Breaking news reporter
    Coverage areas: Breaking news, crime
    Bio: Erin Tracy started working for The Bee in September 2010. She has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University and previously worked at the Daily Democrat in Woodland and the Times-Standard in Eureka.
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— Oakdale Police this morning identified the two suspects arrested after a massive manhunt Tuesday night.

Eric Silva, 18, of Riverbank and James Fitzjarrell, 19, of Oakdale are suspected of stealing guns and firing at officers. Nobody was hurt in the incident, which began just before 5 p.m. with a report of two men hiding in an alley in the 400 block of Dodge Avenue.

According to authorities, officers found an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun but no suspects. A few minutes later, another officer spotted two males walking in the 400 block of Church Avenue. They were carrying heavy bags that they dropped once they saw the officer. The suspects ran away in separate directions, and a search ensued.

An officer found one of the suspects near railroad tracks on Gilbert Avenue and chased him on foot. When the suspect shot at the officer, police called for help from surrounding agencies. As many as 100 officers responded from agencies including the Modesto and Ceres police departments, the California Highway Patrol and the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, which brought its helicopter.

A Ceres police K9 found one suspect on Mann Court and he was taken into custody. About 2¼ hours later, the Modesto Police SWAT team found the second suspect hiding in a backyard in the 100 block of West J Street. Police said in a news release the shot fired was a “grossly negligent discharge as the suspect was running away for the initial responding officers.”

Police found six long guns and two semiautomatic pistols in the bags the suspects left behind; these were later found to have been stolen from an Oakdale home.


Raw video from the scene.

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