Police sealed-off several blocks in Modesto's airport neighborhood Friday afternoon as they searched for a gunman who shot and killed a man in broad daylight in the middle of a residential intersection.
The victim was taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital, where he was pronounced dead Friday night, said officer Michael Amarillas, a Modesto police spokesman. Police did not release his name pending family notification.
Amarillas said detectives could not say Friday night how old the victim was or where he was from.
Investigators searched the neighborhood, questioned witnesses and collected evidence into the night. The gunman had not been found as of 9:30 p.m. Friday.
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The shooting occurred about 3:30 p.m. at Larkin and Thrasher avenues, three blocks east of South Santa Cruz Avenue and a block from an elementary school.
Residents said they heard at least three gunshots and ran out to find the victim lying in the middle of the street. They said the victim was carrying what appeared to be a foot-long steel pipe when he was shot.
Vice Principal Josefina Gutierrez-Miller said Orville Wright Elementary School, which is a block south of the shooting, was not locked down.
Gutierrez-Miller said parents called the school because "they saw the helicopter going around and they were wondering."
She said the school let out at 2:30 p.m., but there were some kids on campus for after-school programs until 5:30 p.m.
Modesto police and Stanislaus County sheriff's officials closed several streets surrounding the shooting and created a tight perimeter to find the gunman.
Residents gathered around the shooting scene that was sealed off with yellow police tape as a sheriff's helicopter circled above. But most people returned to their homes as more officers arrived.
Thrasher Avenue almost was vacant when a team of heavily armed Modesto police officers approached five men who were standing in front of a home just north of the crime scene. Sgt. Ed Steele said the men were searched and questioned, because the shooter reportedly fled north on Thrasher Avenue.
While officers questioned the men, other officers searched the home. The men were then allowed to return to their homes.
After a police mobile command post arrived, police investigators walked along Larkin Avenue with flashlights searching for shell-casings. The investigators also searched for bullet holes in a nearby vacant home on the southwest corner of the intersection.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2394.