Stanislaus County Sheriff's officials identify victim in fatal shooting

05/07/2009 12:45 PM

05/07/2009 12:54 PM

Stanislaus County sheriff's officials said today Gregory Thornhill was one of two victims who was shot in a gang-related attack early Sunday behind the Seventh Street auction yard at Pecos Avenue and Main Street just south of Modesto.

Thornhill, 24, of Modesto, died Wednesday at a Modesto hospital after he was taken off life-support machines, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a sheriff's spokesman.

He said Thornhill and a 21-year-old man, also of Modesto, were shot about 1:30 a.m.

Deputies found the 21-year-old walking around and Thornhill inside a pickup that caught fire as they approached, Singh said. The fire was the result of a mechanical problem.

Both men were taken by ambulance to local hospitals. The 21-year-old has since been released from the hospital. Sheriff’s officials did not release his name to ensure his safety.

Sheriff's detectives believe the shooting was gang-related, but the detectives won't say why.

"We’re fairly sure it's gang-related," Singh said.

When asked whether the suspect or suspects yelled out gang slurs or whether the victims are gang members, Singh said "the detectives are not releasing that information right now because they are still talking to witnesses who might have seen what happened."

He said the detectives do not want to jeopardize the investigation. No arrests have been made.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394.

Central Valley Report video from Pecos incident

View May 2009 Shootings in a larger map

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