Two dead, two injured in wake of Modesto shootings

kvaline@modbee.comApril 20, 2013 

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    alternate text Kevin Valine
    Title: Reporter
    Coverage areas: City of Modesto and nonprofits
    Bio: Kevin Valine has been a copy editor and reporter at The Bee since January 2006. He's worked at the Reno Gazette-Journal, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and Paradise Post as a reporter and copy editor. He's a graduate of San Jose State.
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— One of two men shot Saturday night in Modesto near a Briggs Avenue home where a birthday party was being held has died, according to Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department detectives.

The victim was identified as a 21-year-old man from Patterson, who was found inside an SUV a few blocks from the shooting scene. According to investigators, men inside the SUV were involved in the incident.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died. The other shooting victim, an 18-year-old, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

We'll have more on this breaking story.

Earlier story below

Two weekend shootings in Modesto left one man dead, three other people wounded and sheriff's detectives scrambling.

The first shooting took place about 9:45 p.m. Friday in south Modesto near Lassen Avenue and Dallas Street. Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call about several people fighting in the street. A second 911 call reported the shooting.

Deputies found a 24-year-old man dead in the street; a 58-year-old woman had been wounded and was taken to a hospital. She is expected to recover. The shooting took place in a neighborhood northwest of Crows Landing Road and West Whitmore Avenue.

Sgt. Anthony Bejaran, a Sheriff's Department spokesman, said he did not know what started the fight and could not comment on the man's and woman's roles in the dispute. He said deputies were awaiting identification of the man.

No suspects are in custody.

Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators collected evidence throughout the night. Detectives are interviewing witnesses and are not releasing more details at this time.

Bejaran said detectives have no information that leads them to believe the two shootings are related.

Shots fired near party at home

The second shooting took place about 7:30 p.m. Saturday at a west Modesto home in the 400 block of Briggs Avenue, behind the Paradise Road Walgreens store.

A quinceañera — a 15th birthday party for a Latina — was being held in the back yard of the home on Briggs when the shooting took place. Neighbors and partygoers reported hearing about 10 shots and then a car speeding down the street.

Bejaran said investigators believe the shooting was gang-related.

He said a sport utility vehicle with men in it pulled up in front of the house and the men started arguing with some of the partygoers. Bejaran said the argument escalated into shots being fired.

"There was an exchange of gunfire between the people at the party and the people in the SUV," Bejaran said. He said one man at the party was wounded, as well as one man in the SUV.

SUV stopped, 1 inside wounded

Modesto police stopped the SUV at Martin Luther King Drive and California Avenue, just north of the home on Briggs. The men in the SUV who were not wounded are being questioned by detectives.

The two men who were shot were taken to a hospital and are expected to recover.

Sheriff's detectives were expected to put in several hours Saturday night during their initial investigation.

"They were out all night last night for the homicide," Bejaran said, "and they will be out tonight until they sort out what they have in this double shooting at Briggs."

Anyone with information about this investigation can call Det. Darwin Hatfield at 209-525-7100. You can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or (209) 578-2316.

Bee Senior Editor for Digital Brian Clark contributed to this report.

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