Victor Gaona Jr., 9/3/2008

11/05/2008 7:49 PM

12/29/2008 11:52 AM

Name: Victor Gaona Jr.

Synopsis: Gaona, 35, died in a shooting after an apparent gang-related fight about 11:15 p.m. between two groups in south Modesto. Officers found him lying in the street near Dezzani Lane and Ustick Road. He was taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital, where he died.

Motivation: Investigators said they believe Gaona was involved in the gang-related fight, but they do not know to what extent.

Suspect: Two suspects remain at large: Javier Gomez and Armando Pulido, both of Modesto. The suspects are documented Norteño gang members. They were seen leaving the shooting in a dark-colored, 2004 Honda Accord with a California license plate of 5ZAR997.

Members of the Central Valley Gang Impact Task Force arrested Alex Mares of Modesto on suspicion of murder and attempted murder with a gang enhancement. The task force used information from a tipster who called Crime Stoppers to find Mares in a Manteca home.

Status: Mares is being held without bail at Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. To find current custody information and upcoming court dates, visit the In Custody Report (PDF).

Authorities ask anyone with information about this homicide to call Detective Rich Delgado at 538-5700, ext. 5561, or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips on the Crime Stoppers Web site, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

If you would like to submit photos of this victim or have other information to share, please email

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